Ponting hoping for fine weather - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ponting hoping for fine weather

By Greg Buckle 12/11/2007 06:18:43 AM Comments (0)

Australian captain Ricky Ponting will be hoping for fine weather on Monday at the Gabba after rain delays and bad light helped Sri Lanka push the first Test into the fifth day.

Sri Lanka will resume at 9.30am (AEST) on 5-218, needing to score another 122 runs to make the home side bat again, while Australia need five wickets.

Chamara Silva is five not out with wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene yet to score.

Australian leg-spinner Stuart MacGill has taken 1-64 off 25 overs, reaching the 200-wicket milestone in his 41st Test, the equal fourth-fastest in cricket history.

But MacGill and left-arm debutant paceman Mitchell Johnson (2-47) will be desperate to get early breakthroughs on Monday to keep the pressure on the Sri Lankans after they added 138 runs for the loss of only three wickets during Sunday's rain-shortened play.

There could be more frustration for the Australians with morning showers predicted and a top temperature of 25 degrees.

"The thing with cricket is it's all about momentum. We really need those late wickets (on day four) to prove that we were bowling well and secondly to really stamp our authority on the game," MacGill said.

"I feel very confident going into the final day that we can win the Test because we took those late wickets.

"It's a great opportunity for us to show that we have all settled nicely into our new roles and the Australian cricket team has a good strong future when a lot of people have doubted us," MacGill added, in reference to the retirements of Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Justin Langer after last summer's Ashes triumph.

The two-Test series concludes with the second match in Hobart starting on Friday.

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