Perth Test: Ponting taken to hospital, cleared of break

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

PERTH - Australian captain Ricky Ponting was taken to hospital for x-rays after being hit on the elbow by a brutal Kemar Roach bouncer after lunch on day one in Perth.

Ponting, however, was cleared of a break, and has returned to the WACA and is expected to be able to bat over the remaining four days, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

After Australia completely dominated the morning session reaching 106 without loss, the decision to bowl Roach from the Lillee-Marsh end ignited the match.irst the Barbadian bowler removed Shane Watson for 89, after having him dropped on seven in just the fifth over of the day.

With his second ball at the Australian skipper, Roach produced the perfect short ball, crashing into Ponting’s left arm just above the elbow immediately requiring Australian physio Alex Kountouris to provide treatment.

The Australian skipper tried his best to fight the pain, crashing Roach for two fours and one massive six in one over to exact some revenge.

A second bandage applied during the drinks break did not have the desired effect, and after a third conversation with the Australian medical staff Ponting walked off for precautionary x-rays.

Ponting’s premature departure brought Mike Hussey to the crease in pressured circumstances, with the WA man relieving some of his personal tension by pulling his first ball for four.

And while Ponting struggled, Simon Katich prospered at the other end, with his 19th Test half-century in 96 balls.

Before lunch, Watson made the most of his massive early let-off. He was brutal on anything short or full, pulling and driving his way to a 76-ball half-century, which included nine fours.

Brushing off the disappointment of falling four runs short of his first Test century in last week’s second Test, the Queensland all-rounder ploughed on to take Australia past 100 runs in almost even time, with Simon Katich almost unnoticed at the other end on 34 not out at lunch.

With the West Indies making three changes to the side that battled so manfully in Adelaide, one of them - fast bowler Gavin Tonge - thought he had his first Test wicket on debut when he speared a vicious yorker to Watson in the 21st over.

But the 28-year-old’s luck held again, with a faint inside edge steering the ball two inches past leg stump, allowing Australia to take firm control of the first day of the last Test of the series.

The morning was also memorable for Clint McKay, who received his baggy green from Ponting on debut, replacing the injured Peter Siddle. (ANI)

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