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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 July, 2005, 18:26 GMT 19:26 UK
Aussies 'have clicked into gear'
Australia celebrate a wicket at The Oval

Ricky Ponting fired an ominous Ashes warning after the NatWest Challenge decider by saying Australia were hitting their straps at the right time.

The Australians thumped England by eight wickets at The Oval, chasing down 229 with 15.1 overs left.

"We have played some really good cricket in the last couple of games.

"Things were not good early on but we have really clicked into gear in the last couple of days," said Ponting after his side's comprehensive win.

"We knew we needed to win and we have played our best when it mattered."

Ponting backed under-fire paceman Jason Gillespie, who has endured a difficult start to the tour but hit back with figures of 3-44.

"He had a lean trot coming into this game but we showed good faith and he backed us up today," Ponting said.

Adam Gilchrist was at his belligerent best at The Oval, blazing 121 off 101 balls to register his 11th one-day ton.

He said: "It was a nice wicket. It was handy to be able to use the little that was in it this morning and put them under pressure.

"I've had a lot of starts. I've been doing the job for the team for half an hour but not going on with it.

"It's been a couple of years since my last one-day hundred, so to get to three figures is pleasing.

"It's been a slow start. We copped a pasting early on and off the field but we knew if we could get our game right we would be successful."

Australia play a three-day game against Leicestershire starting on Friday as preparation for the Ashes, which starts at Lord's on 21 July.


SEE ALSO
Vaughan stays confident for Ashes
12 Jul 05 |  Ashes 2005


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