ASHES talk may have centred around Ashton Agar's 98 but it was another Australian having a great spell with the bat that saved Surrey at the Oval today. In his last first-class innings, former Australian captain Ricky Ponting amassed 169 not out as he batted for the whole of Thursday to earn Surrey a draw against Nottinghamshire in the County Championship Division One. Gareth Batty won the toss and decided to bat on Monday, but Surrey's poor form with the bat continued as only Rory Burns (57) and Steven Davies (65no) amassed decent scored with Notts skittling the home-side out for just 198. The latter order of Batty, Chris Tremlett, Jade Dernbach and Gary Keedy all failed to score. Surrey have been relying on some superb bowling to bag their wins in the Friends Life t20, but even that failed them during Nottinghamshire's reply. Notts grabbed a massive 410 all out with centuries from both opener Steven Mullaney and then Samit Patel in at five, despite three wickets a piece for Dernbach (3-84)and Tremlett (3-77). Surrey looked like they were struggling as they went into their second innings needing a big score despite having been so rusty with the bat in recent games. However, things looked up after a good opening partnership from Burns (38) and Arun Harinath (69). Vikram Solanki was run out for a disappointing 11 only to see cricketing legend Ponting come to the crease for the last time in a first-class innings. And it seems the legend did not fancy hanging up his bat as he stayed there for 420 minutes. Zafar Ansari managed a good 27 and Dernbach an unusually useful 18 not out, but the innings was all about Ponting as he saved the game for Surrey and ensured he went out the way his magnificent career deserved - 169 not out from 319 balls including 18 fours. With Surrey on 395-8 the teams shook hands on a draw shortly before 5pm today.
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