Cricket: Ponting hits ton in final first class game

Ricky Ponting of Surrey acknowledges the crowd as he leaves the field during the LV County Championship match between Surrey and Nottinghamshire. Photo / Getty Images
Ricky Ponting of Surrey acknowledges the crowd as he leaves the field during the LV County Championship match between Surrey and Nottinghamshire. Photo / Getty Images

Ricky Ponting has scored a century in his final first-class cricket match.

Playing for English county Surrey, Australia's former Test captain hit Nottinghamshire's left-arm spinner Samit Patel for four late in the first session of the fourth and final day of their clash at The Oval in London.

It brought up Ponting's 82nd first-class hundred in his 289th match.

The milestone came a day after he surpassed the 24,000-run mark as Surrey look to save the match after conceding a massive 212-run first-innings deficit.

Ponting retired from Test cricket last December after the series loss to South Africa with a phenomenal record of 13,378 runs in 168 matches over 17 years.

Given Australia's continued batting woes in the first Ashes Test at Nottinghamshire's home ground of Trent Bridge, Ponting's former Australian teammate and new national coach Darren Lehmann could do worse than to try one last time to convince the 38-year-old to make a rushed return to the Test arena.

Last month, Ponting announced he will retire from all forms of the game in October after the Champions League Twenty20 tournament where he'll turn out for his Indian Premier League team the Mumbai Indians.

"While I'm enjoying my cricket as much as ever, it just feels like the right time to finish playing,'' he told reporters in England on June 21.

"My body and mind are in great shape and I know I'm going to really enjoy these last few months before the next stage of life begins.''

Australian cricket fans might be hoping Lehmann can talk Ponting into hanging around in England a little longer with four Ashes Tests over the next six weeks.

- AAP

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