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Friday Fights | The Big ODI Fight - Ricky Ponting vs AB de Villiers

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Friday Fights - AB de Villers vs Ricky Ponting

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Friday Fights | The Big ODI Fight - Ricky Ponting vs AB de Villiers

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Bastab K Parida

Last Friday at 1:12 PM

It is a lovely coincidence that two men who defined their country’s cricket were at the centre of dominance in an era of breath-taking cricket. Ricky Ponting and AB de Villiers were the central identity of the Aussie and Protean nationalism but none more so than while striking a cricket ball.

It was the common ground that brought them together to the Friday Fights ring that swears by its quality. You know you are going to get a great fight, or even if there is a one-sided dominance, you know the context made it even sweeter. So why do we need to wait and see. Let’s get ready to witness the rumble.

ROUND 1 -> CAREER AVERAGE: AB DRAWS FIRST BLOOD!

This is a stunner from AB. Without giving a solitary damn, the Saffer has taken the Aussie down with a punch on his face that left him gasping for breath. If you compare a 53.5 career average with 42.03, it is going to happen. That is AB for you, the undisputed ODI legend.

Ponting - 8 De Villiers - 10

ROUND 2 -> AVERAGE IN FOREIGN CONDITIONS: BOOOOMM!!!

AB seems to be on a mission now! The first one must have hurt a lot but he delivered a 61.75-sized punch to make it two in two. Ponting is feeling the pressure. When AB travels, you know he will make it count and he does. But Ponting’s away average of 45.04 falls flat on his face and he is knocked down straight away.

Ponting - 6 De Villiers - 10

ROUND 3 -> AVERAGE IN HOME CONDITIONS: NO WAY!

Will Ponting’s fortune undergo a change? He is brave enough to get up after falling down and that’s something he will have to ensure now. He is a legend at home but wait! What are we seeing now? He is not winning this round too. His home average of 39.17 is almost 13 runs lesser than ABD’s 52.55. This is some carnage, ladies and gentleman. 

Ponting - 7 De Villiers - 10

ROUND 4 -> AVERAGE IN NEUTRAL VENUES: AB is making it a joke now!

I really thought Ponting, even by using the Aussie way of intimidation, would make a comeback but alas, NO. Ponting holds no class in front of Abraham Benjamin de Villiers as the Saffer is making the short work in terms of neutral average too. But this is actually close. Ponting’s 42.77 average is only bettered by two runs by AB who has 44.84. Can this spell a turn around? We’ll see.

Ponting - 9 De Villiers - 10

ROUND - 5-> STRIKE RATE : THERE IS ONLY ONE WINNER!

Give that winning batch to AB already! Why are we still having a discussion! With an SR of 101.09, he not only bruised Punter but made him fall on the surface for eternity. On being asked, Punter showed an 80.39 card but alas! This is a fine wrap up!

Ponting - 7 De Villiers - 10

ROUND 6-> STRIKE RATE IN SUCCESSFUL CHASES : THIS IS A REAL SURPRISE!

You don’t really count on Punter for strikes rates but this has put my bum off the bean bag. A real surprise because the Aussie strikes at 99.72 in successful chases while the corresponding number for the Proteas legend is 96.9. This is the first 10-pointer for Ponting and we can only hope he does that often.

Ponting - 10 De Villiers - 9

ROUND 7-> 50s in winning causes (in %) : Roll that down the beach!

You can’t keep Ponting quiet for long, can you? The Aussie fought back in the only way he knew with a smashing punch thanks to the great Australian team of the yore. A magnificent 84.14 % of time, Ponting’s fifties resulted in a win for the Australian team while the corresponding number for the Saffer is 69.8. This will land the second consecutive 10-pointer for Punter.

Ponting - 10 De Villiers - 7

ROUND 8-> Number of 50+ scores in successful chases: This is a crazy punch!

And Ponting wins the round once again. After a string of results in favour of AB, Ponting has shown a nerve of steel to fight back. His 37 50+ scores in successful chases has been a contributing factor to his growing legend and in that count, ABD, who has done that in 23 instances, has been knocked down. We’ll see if ABD has it in him to get over and fight back again.

Ponting - 10 De Villiers - 6

ROUND 9 -> 50 to 100 conversions (in %): WOW. THIS WAS CLOSE

Has Ponting’s comeback is a bit delayed so that we might miss the classic turning off sooner than we expected? Possibly because here ABD, after being knocked down, goes again in a classic way. His 50 to 100 conversions is excellent at 28.4% and even though Punter has 26.78% to his name, you know we all care about is the relative difference. 

Ponting - 9 De Villiers - 10

ROUND 10-> 100S IN WINNING CAUSES: OH AB!

Aha. The Aussie legend will rue this. 84% of ABD’s 100s has been converted to a win for South Africa but the Tasmania cricketer falls short by a whisker. Is there anything that really differentiates 83.33 and 84. But for the sake of fairness, we will go with 9 and 10. Hard luck, Ricky!

Ponting - 9 De Villiers - 10

WINNER - AB de Villiers

Final Score - Ricky Ponting - 85, AB de Villiers - 92

This is a stunning show in which Punter has fallen behind but boy did we not have enough fun? That is what our Friday Fights is all about. We love a good story, we love a good match-up. That’s something that makes our weekly segment a fun story to go forward with and we wish to have you back in the next edition.

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