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Last Updated: Friday, 9 February 2007, 11:52 GMT
Ponting laments batting collapse
Ricky Ponting
Ponting was brilliantly caught by Collingwood to signal the collapse
Australia captain Ricky Ponting blamed his team's batting collapse for the defeat against England in the opening match of the CB Series final.

"There are a few areas we could look at but to lose 9-80 (from 170-1) is where the game was lost," he admitted.

"You can't afford to make those slip-ups in one-day cricket and when pressure is applied it's amazing how quickly things can change.

"We've got to make sure we're better under pressure in the next game."

Ponting said that he expected his team to be too strong for England, despite the recent resurgence from Andrew Flintoff's team.

"I said to the boys beforehand I thought if we played good smart cricket for 80 or 90 overs we should be good enough to win," the Tasmanian explained.

"The last 70 overs of the day have been terrible so we've got a bit of talking to do and not long to do it before Sunday [the second match in the best-of-three final].

"I thought the wicket was a lot slower and not as good as it was the other day so I thought if we could get 290 that would be a really good score."

You want to be tested in every match you play, whether we're facing up to that well enough at the moment is another matter

Ricky Ponting

Australia were cruising at 170-1 after 30 overs before Ponting was acrobatically caught by England centurion Paul Collingwood at cover.

"My dismissal was probably as bad as anyone's, it was a pretty ordinary ball and a pretty ordinary shot and we found ourselves under pressure afterwards," Ponting said.

Australia were profligate in the field, with Glenn McGrath dropping a simple catch and several run-out opportunities missed.

"We've probably been a bit off the boil in the last few games," Ponting conceded.

"You miss someone like [Andrew] Symonds in your inner-ring fielding but we've got to find other guys to fill that void.

"We've got some good athletes in the side, it's about time we started hitting the stumps a bit more, we've been working hard but at the moment things aren't coming off but hopefully that will change on Sunday."

Three balls were used in England's innings as the problem of a dirty white ball difficult for players to see rose again.

"I was pretty disappointed with that, but it's not the umpires' fault, it's the quality of the balls. They have to be changed if they get too discoloured and the ones in the box look like the dog's been chewing them."

Flintoff's team provided the answer to Australia coach John Buchanan's claims earlier in the triangular tournament for his side to be properly challenged ahead of the World Cup.

"You want to be tested in every match you play, that's what playing international sport is all about. Whether we're facing up to that well enough at the moment is another matter," Ponting said.

For the second year running Australia now have to come back in the final, having recovered from losing the first match to beat Sri Lanka in 2006.

"I've got no doubt we can do it," the captain insisted. "If we start the game on Sunday as well as we did here, hopefully we won't make the same mistakes again."



SEE ALSO
England hero delighted with form
09 Feb 07 |  England
Australia v England photos
09 Feb 07 |  Cricket


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