Ponting joins elite 1500 club - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ponting joins elite 1500 club

By Michael Donaldson 30/12/2003 05:35:38 PM Comments (0)

When Ricky Ponting hit the final ball of the Boxing Day Test to the boundary he joined two of the world's best batsmen in an elite club.

Ponting, who made 257 in the first innings to go with his 242 in the second Test against India, needed 28 runs to finish 2003 with 1500 runs in Test cricket.

His paddle-sweep off Anil Kumble went for four and he moved from 27 to 31 not out for a total of 1503 runs for the calendar year.

Only West Indian Viv Richards, with a mammoth 1710 runs from just 11 Tests in 1976, and India's master opener Sunil Gavaskar, with 1555 runs in 17 Tests in 1979, have previously achieved the feat.

Ponting surpasses both those batting giants by scoring his runs at an average of 100.20.

Richards averaged 90 in his halcyon year while Gavaskar averaged almost 60.

Ponting, who missed a Test in the West Indies with a virus, also matched Don Bradman's previously unrivalled sequence of three double-centuries in the one year.

Ponting, 29, finished the year as the most prolific batsman in the world, well ahead of West Indian Brian Lara (1344) and team-mate Matthew Hayden, whose 53 not out today gave him 1312 runs for the year.

Hayden is the first player in Test history to score more than 1000 runs for three straight years.

His tally this year was thanks in large part to his world record innings of 380 in the first Test against Zimbabwe at the WACA in October.

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