Ponting Stands Firm To Put Australia On Top
New Zealand 295 (Vettori 96, Brownlie 77no) v
Australia 154-3 (Ponting 67no)
First Test, Brisbane, day two
Ricky Ponting scored an unbeaten half-century to put Australia into a strong position on day two of the first Test against New Zealand in Brisbane.
The former captain's 67 not out enabled the home side to close on 154 for three after half-centuries from Daniel Vettori and Dean Brownlie pushed New Zealand's first-innings score to 295.
Vettori was run out four runs short of a century while Brownlie scored a dogged 77 not out in 173 balls, impressing in just his second Test and the pair put on 158 for the sixth wicket.
They had come together on day one with the score on 96 for five and their partnership was finally broken when Vettori set off for a suicidal single and after good work from Michael Hussey was short of his ground.
Australia quickly struck to remove Reece Young (2) and Doug Bracewell (0) before Brownlie combined effectively with Tim Southee (17) to addd 31 quick runs for the ninth wicket.
Nathan Lyon returned figures of four for 69 by having Southee caught by Hussey and Chris Martin bowled for one, leaving Brownlie stranded and New zealand short of 300.
That didn't look like much of an issue when Australian openers David Warner (3) and Phil Hughes (10) departed cheaply, Warner caught behind off Southee and Hughes caught by Martin Guptill off Martin.
Australia's ship was steadied by a fluent 38 from Usman Khawaja and Ponting's 58th half-century. After Khawaja fell to a run out by Kane Williamson, Ponting joined forces with his successor as captain Michael Clarke.
Clarke survived being bowled off a no ball to reach 28 not out in 30 balls at stumps to leave Australia by far the happier of the two teams going into the third day of the series.
© Cricket World 2011