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Last Updated: Sunday, 7 August 2005, 12:25 GMT 13:25 UK
Ponting praises tail-end heroics
Shane Warne takes evasive action from a short ball
Captain Ricky Ponting saluted his tail-enders for taking Australia to within three runs of victory in a dramatic end to the second Ashes Test.

"We got very close but England played very well throughout," Ponting said.

"But our tail-enders were sensational. Shane Warne with his 10 wickets and runs was outstanding.

"And to have Brett Lee and Michael Kasprowicz standing up against that sort of bowling attack and almost pinch the Test is full credit to those guys."

Ponting insisted Australia had not given up hope of victory despite their seemingly parlous position - needing another 107 runs with two wickets left.

"We always gave ourselves a chance," he said. "Shane is a good batsman and has shown that in the county season this year.

"That gave us a glimmer of hope but a lot of hard work and discipline had to go into it.

"Brett and Michael showed that. They took a few knocks to the body but they stood up to it.

"Unfortunately we weren't quite good enough at the end of the day but we can take a lot out of this game.

"Although we lost it has been a great Test and one of the best I have ever played in. Hopefully the next one will be exactly the same."

Last-man out Kasprowicz, who hit 20, said the defeat will stay with him forever.

He said: "I will probably leave (Edgbaston) with the most vivid memory that I will replay in my mind for the rest of my life.

"There's maybe a sense of pride but initially there's disappointment. In a lot of ways it's cruel to get that close and just miss out in the end."

And Lee, who was roughed up by Flintoff, added the only place he was hurting was in his heart.

Interview: Australia captain Ricky Ponting

News conference: England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff


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