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CRICKET: RICKY ON RUN; Ponting loses his cool as Aussies are left on ropes.

AUSTRALIA captain Ricky Ponting launched an astonising outburst yesterday and Simon Jones, who put England on course for victory in the fourth Ashes Test in Nottingham, was at the centre of it.

The seamer claimed a second fifth-wicket haul of the series as England became the first side in 18 years to force an Australian follow-on after they collapsed to 218 at Trent Bridge.

But it was his absence from the field for a large part of their second innings which prompted a major flare-up between Ponting, umpire Aleem Dar and the England players that could result in sanctions from ICC match referee Ranjan Madugalle.

He reacted angrily after being run out by sub Gary Pratt, swooping from cover as his side slumped to 222 for four by the close of the third day, still 37 behind The Australian captain seemed to be angry Pratt was on the field at all and pointed towards the England dressing room to challenge the absence of Jones, who was receiving treatment for a right ankle injury which led to him going to hospital for a scan.

The incident clearly rattled Ponting, who would have been further irritated by the arrival of England fielding coach Trevor Penney - regarded as one the finest cover points in the game during an illustrious career with Warwickshire - on the field later on as a brief sub for Steve Harmison It rattled Ponting enough to issue a statement, perhaps aimed at avoiding potential punishment, saying: "I was very disappointed with my dismissal given it was at a crucial stage of the game and I had worked very hard to get to that position.

"I no doubt let myself down with my reaction and for that I apologise to those who see me as a role model.

"My frustration was compounded by the fact I was run out by a substitute fielder - an issue that's concerned us from the start and one we raised prior to the series."

Michael Clarke (39no) and Simon Katich (24no) had forged a 61-run partnership before bad light stopped play.

Earlier Andrew Flintoff removed Matthew Hayden to halt a 50-run opening stand.

And there appeared more than a hint of fortune about Justin Langer's exit as umpire Aleem Dar adjudged a sweep at Ashley Giles brushed glove before being held by Ian Bell at short-leg. Damien Martyn was the day's final dismissal

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Ponting: On the ropes
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 28, 2005
Words:403
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