We didn~~t play the spinners very well, says Ponting

Published: Saturday, September 28, 2002, 23:51 [IST]
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Colombo: Australian skipper Ricky Ponting conceded on Friday his team failed to cope with the Sri Lankan spin attack in the semi-final of the Champions Trophy One-day tournament. "We didn't play the spinners very well and that probably took the game away from us," said Ponting after his team's seven-wicket defeat in the day-night game at the Premedasa Stadium. "They brought the spinners on early and put us under pressure," said Ponting. "The wicket probably turned a lot more than we had expected. It wasn't an ideal One-day wicket, but that's no excuse. "We got off to a good start and then lost quick wickets against spinners. We couldn't get back into the game after that." Australia was 49 for no loss before losing four wickets for eight runs in the space of seven overs as Sri Lankan skipper Sanath Jayasuriya pressed his spinners into the attack after just five overs. "Sri Lanka played better in each department of the game. It bowled, fielded and batted better," Ponting said, adding the long gap between their last league match and the semi-final was not the reason for defeat. Australia played its last game against Bangladesh on September 19 and then went to neighbouring Maldives on a holiday. "We were well-prepared for the semi-final, though we had a few days off," said the Australian captain. Jayasuriya said his team had put in one of its best performances against a strong Australia. "I think it's one of our best performances because beating Australia is not easy," he said. "It is the best team in the world, but we had planned well. The first few overs cost us a bit, but we managed to come back into the game. "Wickets in the sub-continent always help spinners. I wanted to open the attack with spin, but then I thought I would go with seamers Vaas (Chaminda) and Pulasthi (Gunaratne) for a few overs. "The pitch was slow, but Aravinda bowled really well." Aravinda was named man of the match for keeping the Australian batsmen silent, conceding just 16 runs in 10 overs for one wicket.

AFP Extras:
Lanka coasts to comfortable 7-wkt win against Aussies

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