Cricket Australia Items/news/2013/2/23/one-more-time-around-for-ricky

One more time around for Ricky?

UPDATED 23 February, 2013 10:18AM AEST | by Gareth Morgan 5

Ricky Ponting hopes to return to the WACA at least once more after top scoring for Tasmania as the visitors moved to within sight of victory on day two of their Sheffield Shield clash with Western Australia.

The 38-year-old's imperious knock of 76 contained plenty of his trademark elegant drives and punishing pull shots and he looked poised to chalk up his 42nd first-class century before holing out to Michael Hogan off the bowling of Ryan Duffield late in the second session.
"I honestly don't know if this will be my last innings at the WACA, but I hope not," Ponting said.
"I'll wait and see how we finish off this season. 
"I said when I retired from international cricket that I'd see how Tasmania finished up this year and obviously now we won't be in the Ryobi Cup final, but we've got a lot to play for as far as Sheffield Shield cricket is concerned and this week has gone pretty well so far.
"I'd love to come back and play another season, but we'll just have to wait and see.
"I was disappointed not to get to three figures, but it's been that kind of wicket.
"Most of the batters who have got off to a decent start have just got deliveries that have got them out.
"I knew if there was anything overly short or overly full I had to capitalise on it because you know that if you let the bowlers dictate to you, they're a chance of knocking you over.
"So that's the way I approached it."
Ponting's knock, along with useful contributions from Jon Wells (43), Alex Doolan (33) and Jason Krejza (23 not out), helped the Tigers extend their lead from 114 to a formidable 352 by the close.
Ponting is confident their much-vaunted seam attack can steer them to victory on day three.
"The 114-run lead was a nice little lead to take into this innings," he said.
"We've played okay today with the bat and our bowlers are ideally suited to these conditions. 
"(Luke) Butterworth, (James) Faulkner and (Ben) Hilfenhaus in these conditions are as good as anyone in the country, so I think if we can use the new ball well in the morning, WA will find it hard to chase those runs down.
"I want to win every game I play, that's what cricket is all about for me.
"It's not about playing for me, it's about winning and that's what I want to do in this game and in every game, so nothing changes there.
"Obviously there's a big day's cricket to come tomorrow and hopefully we can play as well as we have in the first two days."
Butterworth was Tasmania's main bowler in the first innings as he picked up 5-35 as WA were dismissed for just 97.
Ponting regards the man who now has 35 Shield wickets to his name this season as one of the competition's star performers.
"Butterworth doesn't do much wrong, that's for sure," he said.
"In the games I've played with him this year, it feels like he's got five wickets every time and when you get conditions like we've had here and you've got a lot of left-handers in your top order, he's hard to stop.
"If you speak to any left-hander in the country, they'll tell you Butterworth is the hardest bowler they face in domestic cricket.
"He's great for our set up, he's a great competitor and his skills are exceptional."

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 23 February, 2013 10:12AM AEST

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