Ricky Ponting stuns cricket fans in epic commentary moment in World Cup semi-final

The former Australian captain left viewers stunned during the World Cup semi-final clash.

Ricky Ponting (pictured left) has been hailed a 'genius' after making the call in commentary to bring Travis Head (pictured right) on to bowl, which occurred and changed the match in the World Cup. (Getty Images)
Ricky Ponting (pictured left) has been hailed a 'genius' after making the call in commentary to bring Travis Head (pictured right) on to bowl, which occurred and changed the match in the World Cup. (Getty Images)

Ricky Ponting has left cricket fans stunned after making a 'genius' prediction in a pivotal moment of the World Cup semi-final against South Africa, as Travis Head ripped through the Proteas batting line-up. Pat Cummins and his men produced their best bowling display of the Cricket World Cup so far having limited South Africa to 212 in the semi-final in Kolkata.

Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazelwood were phenomenal, with South Africa reeling at four down and hovering around a strike rate of just 2.00 after eight overs. Heinrich Klassen and centurion David Miller led the fightback for South Africa as they pushed the total past 118.

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With the quicks losing their momentum, Cummins turned to Glenn Maxwell to snare a wicket. And immediately the Eden Gardens pitch showed a bit of life.

And Ponting, who won two World Cups as captain of Australia, immediately called for the introduction of Head into the bowling attack. The part-time spinner hasn't bowled too much at the World Cup with the spin attack led by Adam Zampa and Maxwell.

However, Ponting felt his off-spin could factor into game on a turning the pitch. And despite early criticism of Cummins' captaincy decisions this tournament, the fast bowler turned to Head just one over after Ponting's call.

And the impact was immediate. Head bowled Klassen in the 30th over and the very next ball he caught Marco Jansen lbw right in front. He finished with figures of 2-21 and also top scored for Australia with a quick-fire 62 runs.

Travis Head poses for a photo with the Player of the Match trophy.
Travis Head (pictured) was player-of-the-match against South Africa at the World Cup. (Photo by Matthew Lewis-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Cummins made the call to bring Head on, which was another turning point in a rollercoaster semi-final victory over South Africa. But the vision and analysis from Australia's former captain Ponting certainly had the fans swooning over his cricket mind.

Mitchell Starc hits back at critics amid World Cup drama

While Head may have got player-of-the-match, it was Starc who made the early breakthroughs to leave South Africa reeling. The quick had only taken four wickets in the powerplay so far this tournament at an average of 34.75 - and 10 wickets overall at 43.90. Ponting and Ian Healy had both been vocal in their criticism of the Aussie attack with the new ball, but Starc and Hazlewood produced the goods on Thursday night.

Starc dismissed Temba Bavuma for a duck in the very first over, before picking up Aiden Markram not long after. The left-armer snared 3-34 off 10 overs - his best figures of the World Cup so far and a welcome return to form for Australia's strike weapon.

His double strike with the new ball helped reduce South Africa to 4-24 and set up Australia's win by three wickets at the death. He also made a vital 16 not out with the bat as he and Pat Cummins (14 not out) got the Aussies home with 16 balls remaining.

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