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Last Updated: Sunday, 24 July, 2005, 16:31 GMT 17:31 UK
Ponting salutes McGrath and Warne
Shane Warne celebrates a wicket on the fourth day

Australia captain Ricky Ponting paid tribute to bowlers Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne after his side wrapped up victory in the first Test at Lord's.

"A lot has been said about them being past their best but I don't think that is the case," Ponting told Test Match Special. "They were just outstanding.

"Glenn bowled exactly the right length in the first innings and his initial spell is probably what turned the game.

"And Shane bowled as well in this game as probably I have ever seen him bowl."

That first spell was probably up there with the best I have ever bowled
Glenn McGrath

McGrath and Warne collected 15 of the 20 England wickets between them, Brett Lee grabbing the other five.

And Ponting urged his side to maintain their standards in the second Test starting at Edgbaston on 4 August.

"We don't have to improve on that, we just have to go out and repeat it," he added. "That is what Test cricket is about, repeating high-quality performances day in, day out over five days.

"That is what we have done here and apart from our first innings batting, we have been absolutely sensational from then on.

"For us to be bowled out for 190 and then bowl them out for 155 shows we were up for a fight and up for the contest.

"I couldn't be happier with what we have done."

McGrath, who finished with match figures of 9-82 after a spell of 5.1-1-4-4 on Sunday, was named man of the match.

"I couldn't have hoped for a better opening start to the Ashes series, and for me personally that first spell the other day was probably up there with the best spells I have ever bowled," he said.

"I can't complain at the moment. To play a Test match at Lord's during an Ashes series is nearly the ultimate for an Australian cricketer and I have always loved bowling on the wickets here.

"The Pavilion End, where the wicket slopes off to the right, probably helps my style of bowling.

"It was probably my last Test here and it was a special note to finish on."




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Interview: Australia captain Ricky Ponting



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