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Page last updated at 11:27 GMT, Sunday, 21 December 2008

Ponting blames batting for defeat

Australia skipper Ricky Ponting
Ponting said there were no excuses for his side's defeat

Australia skipper Ricky Ponting felt his side paid for not taking their opportunities as they fell to defeat in the first Test against South Africa.

Ponting said his side should have set South Africa a larger second-innings target than 413 on a flat Perth wicket.

"I really think we had an opportunity to bat them out of the game with our second innings," said Ponting.

"Whether we weren't good enough, or mentally we weren't in the right place to do that, I'm not sure."

South Africa completed the second-highest successful run chase in Test history to become the first visiting side since West Indies in the 1988/89 season to win the first Test on Australian soil.

The six-wicket victory will also give the Proteas a chance to win their first Test Series against Australia since the nation's reintroduction to world cricket in 1992 and also to become the first side since the West Indies in 1992/93 to defeat the Aussies at home.

Ponting added: "It is a very disappointing result.

"It is a bit of a worry that we weren't good enough to take 20 wickets in this Test and to only take four in the fourth innings is very disappointing for everybody.

"But if we had made more runs in both our innings then maybe we would be in a different position right now.

"We had a couple of guys caught at mid-on trying to slog the spinner over the top - mine was a poor shot in the second innings.

"I don't think a piece of bowling or the wicket played any part in our wickets for the whole game and that is disappointing.

"Probably if it wasn't for Brad Haddin's really good 90 in the second innings then this game might have been over a lot earlier than it was."

The world's three leading news agencies are not covering the series due to a dispute with Cricket Australia.

Reuters, Agence France-Presse and Associated Press have suspended all coverage of the 2008-09 season.

Their photographers and reporters did not supply material from within the ground. As a result, we cannot use pictures from the current match.

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see also
S Africa run chase stuns Aussies
21 Dec 08 |  Cricket
Amla stars in Australian warm-up
11 Dec 08 |  Cricket

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