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I'm no Bradman, says Ponting after 29th century

Written by: Staff

DURBAN, South Africa, Mar 24 (Reuters) Ricky Ponting downplayed the century he scored in the second test against South Africa today to join Don Bradman in the annals of Australian cricket.

Ponting notched up his 29th test century to lead the visitors to 228 for five and equal the feat of the legendary Bradman.

''I don't think too many people will be looking at that (me equalling Bradman),'' Ponting told reporters after his knock of 103 gave Australia the upper hand at the close of the first day.

''They'll probably be looking at the amount of games played to get those centuries and I think I'm almost double him.

''I've played more than 100 test matches, I should have those sort of figures next to my name if I'm worth my weight in the side.'' Bradman contested 52 tests at an average of 99.94 to achieve his landmark, while Ponting is playing in his 102nd test and has an average of just under 58.

Ponting, who faced 225 balls for his runs today, said the conditions and the bowling curbed his play.

''The pitch was a bit two-paced and the ball reverse swung for quite a bit of the day,'' he said.

''But we have to give credit to South Africa, they were very disciplined with their lines and lengths and they bowled particularly straight to me, they didn't give me any width at all.'' CUT LIP South Africa struck back by taking three wickets after tea, with fast bowler Makhaya Ntini claiming two in successive overs.

''It was a disappointing end to lose to wickets in the last 10 or 12 overs after working so hard to set a foundation,'' Ponting said.

''But with (Andrew) Symonds and (Michael) Hussey at the crease and (Adam) Gilchrist to come hopefully we can push on tomorrow and make a reasonably big first innings total.'' Ntini hit Symonds, who was four not out, on the grille of his helmet with a bouncer before bad light forced the close two overs early.

Play was held up for several minutes while Symonds received treatment for a bleeding nose and cut lip.

''He's having a couple of stitches inside his lip,'' Ponting said.

''It was a good bouncer that seamed back a bit and was right on the money. But it was pretty gutsy to stand there and get back in line next ball.'' South African all rounder Shaun Pollock said the home side regretted squandering the chances Ponting offered when he was on five and 36.

''Ricky is rated the number one batsman in the world and we keep giving him a second opportunity,'' Pollock said.

''He's given us a few opportunities to take half-chances and we haven't managed to hold on to them.

''There's no future in that, you've got to try and take them if you can.''


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