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Skipper Ponting makes his ninth century in his last 12 Tests

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November 24th, 2006

Ricky Ponting joined Steve Waugh as Australia’s greatest century-maker in Test cricket to put his team in command over England on the first day of the Ashes opener at the Gabba on Thursday.Skipper Ponting plundered the English attack for the ninth century in his last 12 Tests to make an emphatic statement of Australia’s intent to wrest the Ashes back off England with a thumping first-day total of 346 for three.It mirrored Australia’s savaging of the English attack on the first day of the last Ashes Test here four years ago when they scored 364 for two at stumps after being sent into bat. At close, Ponting was unconquered on 137 off 206 balls with Mike Hussey batting on 63.

An infrared camera reportedly designed to track fighter jets has become the latest hi-tech gadget used to cover the Ashes series between Australia and England.Host broadcaster Channel Nine said the device, known as the ‘hot spot,’ could show whether a batman was out or not with 100 % accuracy. “It is a scientifically proven piece of technology that will end all speculation surrounding a dismissal,’’ Nine’s head of sport Steve Crawley said.“If the ball has connected with a player’s bat, pad, glove or the ground, it will be revealed by the hot spot.’’The device records play using two infra-red cameras that show the miniscule amount of heat generated from the friction when two objects collide.

It then uses computer technology to generate a negative image showing the precise point of contact between the two objects, providing what Nine describes as definitive proof of the ball’s passage. It said the technology could determine whether the ball has snicked the bat.

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