We knew we could win, claims Ponting

Australia 127 & 381 Pakistan 333 & 139 (Australia win by 36 runs)

Maybe there's life in the old dog yet. 2009 was not great for Australia – no year in which the Ashes are surrendered can be – but 2010 got off to the most thrilling of beginnings yesterday when they bowled out Pakistan for just 139 to seal a narrow triumph and victory in the series.

Few gave the hosts any hope of victory before this fourth day, but their jubilant captain Ricky Ponting says his side never lost hope they could overturn three days of Pakistan dominance. Given their recent history at the SCG – they have enjoyed tight wins over India and South Africa in the past two seasons – you can understand why. "I don't think anyone else in the world other than probably all the blokes inside our room thought we could win," he said.

"The other [recent SCG Tests] we've probably been in positions where we probably should have won the games. So this one, turning up today 80 runs ahead, I think all of us in our changing room felt that if we could get 150 we were going to be right in the game. Where it ended up today was a sort of a difficult number I think for Pakistan to look at and try to chase."

Pakistan needed 176 for victory. Ponting added: "Those sort of totals are always hard to chase but what Huss and Sids [Michael Hussey and Peter Siddle, who put on 123 for the ninth wicket] did today and what the bowlers did and probably more importantly today what the fielders did ... those little things like that can be the difference between winning and losing."

Ponting conceded the furore surrounding his decision to bat first on a green SCG wicket on the opening day had taken a toll on the entire team. Although he could see the lighter side of his contentious decision after pulling off the unlikely triumph, the home captain stood by his brave call before admitting he is unlikely to ever choose to bowl first in a Test match again. "It's been a pretty tough few days not only for me but the team," Ponting said.

"What we've read over the last couple of days and what we've seen and heard on the news probably just steeled us all a little bit and just made us want to fight the game out as much as we can and prove that we're never out of the contest."

Shell-shocked Pakistan captain Mohammad Yousuf (19) accepted the blame for his side's disappointing second innings before conceding his side's lack of Test experience was a major factor.

Yousuf said that his dismissal was the final day's pivotal moment. "I think they batted very well in the second innings, and my shot this afternoon was very pathetic and it turned the game that shot," he said, referring to an aggressive drive he returned caught and bowled to Nathan Hauritz just after tea. "I think otherwise we would have won the game, not easily but we [would] have won.

"We have to be professional, we have to perform... we need to take the pressure, especially me. I'm a very experienced player, while they're [his team-mates] all young."

The three-match series will now shift to Hobart on 14 January with Australia holding an unassailable 2-0 advantage.

Greatest Tests: Other fine comebacks

England v Australia (Headingley, July 1981)

England were quoted at odds of 500-1 to win after the visitors had raced to a first-innings lead of 227. With the hosts on 135 for 7, Ian Botham hit 149 from 148 balls before Bob Willis took 8 for 43 to send Australia tumbling to defeat.

West Indies v England (Trinidad, Mar 94)

Led by Angus Fraser and Chris Lewis with four wickets apiece, England restricted the hosts to 252 in their first innings. By the time England came to bat a second time they required just 194 to win – but were skittled for 46.

West Indies v Australia (Barbados, March 1999)

Having conceded a first-innings lead of 161, West Indies looked doomed. Enter Courtney Walsh, who took 5 for 39 to skittle the Aussies before Brian Lara hit 153 not out to secure a barely credible one-wicket win.

India v Australia (Calcutta, March 2001)

A Steve Waugh ton helped the Aussies to 445 before they bowled the hosts out for 171. Following on, India hit 657 for 7 before they declared to leave Australia 384 to win. Harbhajan Singh took 6 for 73 as Australia were bowled out for 212, losing by 171 runs.

Sydney scoreboard

Australia v Pakistan

Sydney (Fourth day of five); Australia beat Pakistan by 36 runs; Australia won toss

Australia: First Innings 127 (M Asif 6-41).

Pakistan: First Innings 333 (Butt 71, Farhat 53; Bollinger 4-72).

Australia: Second Innings Overnight: 286-8 (Watson 97)

M Hussey not out 134

P Siddle c ul-Haq b Asif 38

D Bollinger b Kaneria 0

Extras (b 6, lb 5, w 3, nb 5) 19

Total (125.4 overs) 381

Fall: 1-105, 2-144, 3-159, 4-217, 5-226, 6-246, 7-252, 8-257, 9-380, 10-381.

Bowling: M Asif 27-8-53-2, M Sami 19.5-4-74-0, U Gul 28-4-83-3, D Kaneria 47.5-3-151-5, I Farhat 3-0-9-0.

Pakistan: Second Innings

I Farhat c Johnson b Bollinger 22

S Butt c Haddin b Johnson 21

F Iqbal c Haddin b Johnson 7

*M Yousuf c & b Hauritz 19

U Akmal c Johnson b Bollinger 49

M ul-Haq c Hussey b Hauritz 0

†K Akmal c Haddin b Johnson 11

M Sami c Haddin b Hauritz 2

U Gul c Siddle b Hauritz 6

D Kaneria c Watson b Hauritz 0

M Asif not out 0

Extras (w 1, nb 1) 2

Total (38 overs) 139

Fall: 1-34, 2-50, 3-51, 4-77, 5-77, 6-103, 7-133, 8-133, 9-135, 10-139.

Bowling: D Bollinger 12-3-32-2, P Siddle 4-1-27-0, N Hauritz 12-1-53-5, M Johnson 10-2-27-3.

Umpires: E A R de Silva (SL) & B R Doctrove (WI).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee