Ricky Ponting Applauds Wahab Riaz - Shane Watson Encounter
Batting legend Ricky Ponting heaped praises on Pakistan pacer Wahab Riaz for his menacing spell and adrenaline-pumping duel with Australian all-rounder Shane Watson during the World Cup quarter-final in Adelaide on Friday.
The riveting contest between the duo sparked further life into the high-voltage encounter between the two teams and Ponting described the battle as “cricket at its absolute best”.
"(Watson) couldn't do much but survive against Wahab Riaz in that extraordinary spell on Friday night," Ponting wrote in The Australian.
"Their contest was cricket at its absolute best.”
In a hostile spell of short-pitch bowling, Wahab kept tempting Watson into the hook stroke before the latter ultimately obliged.
However, the mistimed stroke was put down by Rahat Ali at deep fine leg with the score reading 83 for three, a moment that probably cost Pakistan the game.
Watson took full toll of the dropped chance as he went on to compile a mature unbeaten 66-ball 64 to guide Australia to victory.
While praising Wahab for his intimidating spell, the double World Cup winning captain also lauded Watson for his composure in a crunch situation.
“Watto didn't want to hook him and Wahab was going to make life hell for him if he didn't.
"Watto was lucky to be dropped, but he survived and really started to show he is in control of his game."
Chasing a modest target of 214, Australia got home by six wickets with more than 16 overs to spare to book a berth in the semi-final of the World Cup against India.
© Cricket World 2015