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Last Updated: Monday, 20 June, 2005, 06:08 GMT 07:08 UK
Ponting talks up improved effort
Ricky Ponting and Kevin Pietersen
Ponting congratulates England match-winner Kevin Pietersen
Ricky Ponting focused on the positives in Australia's performance after their three-wicket loss to England.

It completed a miserable weekend for the tourists, who were upset by underdogs Bangladesh 24 hours earlier.

"We competed a lot better today. We were in a good position in the game with 10 or 12 overs to go but fell over at the end," he said.

"We've got a lot of good things coming out of the game and we had a lot better feeling out in the field."

After posting a total of 252-9, Australia had the upper hand when Geraint Jones was out to leave England on 160-6.

But the home side were hurried home by Kevin Pietersen, who struck four superb sixes in a match-winning 91 not out.

We didn't chase too well until Kevin played an unbelievable, almost genius knock
Michael Vaughan

Ponting praised Mike Hussey (84) and Michael Clarke (45), who led Australia's recovery after they had slumped from 57-0 to 57-3, sharing a stand of 105 for the fifth wicket.

"They steadied things up, played a very mature partnership and got us back in the game. Unfortunately, we weren't quite good enough at the end," he said.

Despite Australia's unaccustomed position at the bottom of the NatWest series table, Ponting was confident they would not remain there.

"All we have to do, I guess, is make it to the final of this competition - win a couple of games along the way and we'll see how we go.

"I'm really happy with the things came together today, even though we lost the game. There were some positive signs there for us."

Australia only just made it to the ground in time, after being stuck in traffic following their decision not to use a police escort.

"We were a fraction late. We got held up with the traffic. We actually dragged our bags about a kilometre, so that was our warm-up done," Ponting added.

Their next chnace to put things right is a re-match with England at Chester-le-Street on Thursday, this time in a day-night fixture.

Interview: Australia captain Ricky Ponting


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