London: Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting fell eight runs short of a double century in his debut match for Surrey, but his team still had to settle for a draw with Derbyshire in the County Championship on Sunday.
Ponting was run out for 192 from 271 balls, the highest score by a Surrey player on first-class debut, before the visitors declared 101 runs ahead on 553 for 8. Chris Tremlett then set the alarm bells ringing in the home camp when he reduced them to 105 for 3.
When Tremlett took his third wicket by bowling Chesney Hughes for 68, Surrey sensed there was an outside chance of victory but West Indian Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Wes Durston stood firm before the teams shook hands with Derbyshire 164 for 3.
It might have been different if Surrey had taken early wickets to put the division's bottom side under pressure but Hughes and Billy Godleman shared Derbyshire's highest opening stand of the season, 76 in 19 overs, before Tremlett broke through.
Surrey had started the day 90 runs behind but Ponting and Steven Davies scored freely on another sunny morning to open up the possibility of pulling off an unlikely victory.
Ponting reached his 150 when he cover drove Mark Turner for his 18th four and Davies also kept the scoreboard ticking at five an over by completing his half-century off only 46 balls.
The fifth-wicket stand was worth 105 in 20 overs when Davies was well caught at deep midwicket by Godleman off David Wainwright for 59, but Gary Wilson helped Ponting maintain the scoring rate before the 38-year-old former Australia captain's superb innings ended in the last over of the morning.
Ponting set off for a sharp single but was well beaten by a direct hit at the bowler's end from wicketkeeper Richard Johnson. Gary Wilson then made 45 from 48 balls before Gareth Batty declared but Hughes and Godleman took Derbyshire some way down the road to safety before Tremlett gave the game a final twist.
Tremlett ended with match figures of 8 for 133 which was an excellent effort on a pitch where more than 1,000 runs had been scored but the result means both Surrey and Derbyshire are still without a Championship victory.