Sydney: Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has expressed surprise that his star paceman Brett Lee was ignored for the man of the match award in the World Cup match against Kenya, despite having grabbed a hat-trick and being on the winning side.Lee had figures of three for 14 from eight overs but Ponting did not bring him on to finish his spell, a decision which he said he was left regretting.
"I do not think I needed to bowl Brett out, he had done enough... but obviously he had not done enough to win man-of-the-match," Ponting was quoted as saying in 'The Age' daily ."Maybe I should have brought him back to get a gold watch," Ponting said. This was the third time in the tournament that Australian players were overlooked for the man-of-the-match award, even though the team has won every match so far. In their match against Zimbabwe, Andy Blignaut claimed the honour and against New Zealand, it was Shane Bond.
"I've got to admit I'm a bit confused with this whole thing. We've won every game pretty convincingly and we've missed out on three man-of-the-matches so I don't know who's picking them or what they are picking them on. I'm a bit bemused by all of it," Ponting said. Lee became the first Australian to get a World Cup hat-trick on Saturday. He started the destruction with the fourth ball of his second over, knocking down Kennedy Otieno who dislodged the bails in the process. Next ball, Brijal Patel was caught in slips while on the third ball, Lee clean bowled David Obuya.
But at the end of the day, it was the ageing Kenyan spinner Asif Karim who was declared "best on ground" by match referee Mike Proctor. Karim's three quick wickets wrecked the Australian middle order of Ponting, Darren Lehmann and Brad Hogg as the 39-year-old finished with figures of three for seven from 8.2 overs. PTI