Cricket: Confused fans give spinner Ponting's standing ovation

Australian spinner Nathan Lyon isn't accustomed to much fanfare.

But the 25-year-old would have been lapping up every moment when he was given a standing ovation by a confused WACA crowd as he strode out to bat in the third Test against South Africa.

Lyon posted handy figures of 3-41 with the ball as South Africa were skittled for 225.

But the standing ovation was nothing more than a case of mistaken identity, with the crowd thinking it was retiring batsman Ricky Ponting making his way to the crease.

After all, Australia had just lost their second wicket and Ponting was slated to come in at No.4.

But with just 25 more minutes remaining in the day, Australia decided to send in Lyon as a nightwatchman.

Even Ponting's wife Rianna was confused for a moment, nervously clapping as the new batsman made his way to the crease before realising it wasn't her husband.

The WACA crowd were clearly disappointed when they, too, realised it wasn't Ponting.

And with Lyon (7no) and Dave Warner (12no) guiding Australia to 2-33 at stumps, fans will have to wait until Saturday before seeing their hero Ponting in action.