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Ponting smacks quick fire half century

Source - reuters.com

Captain Ricky Ponting smashed a half century to guide Australia to 166 for five against India in a one-off Twenty20 international on Saturday.

Ponting hit 13 fours in his 53-ball 76 to give the visitors a flying start after choosing to bat on an excellent batting pitch at the Brabourne Stadium.

Opener Adam Gilchrist (12) was bowled by left-arm paceman Rudra Pratap Singh in the first over after flaying the bowler for three boundaries.

Ponting put on 48 for the second wicket with opener Matthew Hayden (17), 50 for the third with Andrew Symonds (20) and 42 with Michael Clarke (25 not out) for the fifth wicket.

Ponting took 16 runs off Irfan Pathan's first over and displayed his repertoire of shots in a fine innings, but India's spinners Harbhajan Singh and Murali Kartik, making his debut, checked the run rate.

India, playing their first Twenty20 international at home, pegged the visitors back by dismissing Symonds and Brad Hodge (2) in rapid succession.

Symonds was run out after a mix-up and Hodge, searching for form, was bowled by Pathan.

Ponting fell in the penultimate over, playing-on to Pathan while aiming to drive away from his body.

Australia, who had lost to surprise winners India in the semi-finals of the Twenty20 World Cup last month, won the preceding one-day series 4-2.

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