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Page last updated at 21:14 GMT, Friday, 2 October 2009 22:14 UK

Strauss rues poor batting display

Ricky Ponting

Highlights - Australia thump England

Captain Andrew Strauss blamed England's poor batting for his side nine-wicket defeat by Australia in the Champions Trophy semi-final at Centurion.

England tumbled to 101-6 before getting up to 257, though they still lost by nine wickets after Ricky Ponting and Shane Watson both hit centuries.

"Our batsmen were to blame on a wicket where we should have been looking at scoring at least 300 runs.

"We tried to be positive but the shots did not come off," said Strauss.

England were indebted to a stand of seventh-wicket stand of 107 between Tim Bresnan (80) and Luke Wright (48) but the innings fell away after their dismissals and ended during their batting powerplay with a run-out in the 48th over.

"We were definitely keen to go out there and play our shots on a very good wicket and unfortunately it didn't come off," added Strauss.

"You live by the sword and you die by the sword.

"We have to keep playing our shots, it's refreshing to see the guys going out there and expressing themselves but we have to work on our skills to improve our percentages."

Australia, who have beaten England in seven of their last eight one-day matches, cruised to the target with 8.1 overs to spare thanks to a brutal unbeaten 134 from Watson and a faultless 111 not out from Ponting.

Strauss added: "When you lose six wickets for 100 runs it's always going to be hard to stay in the game.

"All credit to Tim Bresnan and Luke Wright for making sure we weren't completely out of the game, but we needed three or four early wickets and we didn't get them.

"Shane Watson and Ricky Ponting played magnificently well and they did a thoroughly professional job on us.

"We can take a lot from this tournament. I think we've played some good cricket, but ultimately Australia were too strong."

The defending champions now go forward to Monday's final against either Pakistan or New Zealand full of confidence.

Ponting and Watson's unbroken stand of 252 was an Australian record for any wicket in one-day cricket, while skipper Ponting became the third player in history to pass 12,000 one-day international runs as he notched up his 28th ODI century.

The 34-year-old, playing in his 323rd one-day international, followed Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya in reaching the landmark.

He said: "We were pretty good and very good with the bat.

"I was confident that we could chase the England total and we stood up and got the job done.

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"These are the sort of games that you look forward to. These are the moments that we pride ourselves on, standing up in big games and today we've been able to do that.

"We can take some confidence out of that for when we go to the final on Monday."

Watson was named man of the match after coming off a poor run of form to hit seven scorching sixes in a tremendous display of power hitting, while he also contributed two wickets with the ball.

He said: "Ricky really helped me a lot throughout my innings, especially in the middle period, so to have him there getting me through that period was excellent."



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see also
Highlights - Australia thump England
03 Oct 09 |  Cricket
Australia thrash England in semis
02 Oct 09 |  England
England v Australia photos
02 Oct 09 |  Cricket
England v Australia as it happened
02 Oct 09 |  England
Nervy Australia book England semi
30 Sep 09 |  Cricket
Kiwis defeat England to win group
29 Sep 09 |  England
Superb England reach Trophy semis
27 Sep 09 |  England
Morgan leads England to victory
25 Sep 09 |  England
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket
ICC Champions Trophy 2009
05 Oct 09 |  Cricket


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