WC 2003 - Knives sharp for a quick kill after slow torture

Published: Wednesday, March 19, 2003, 21:39 [IST]
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The passionate AussiesJohannesburg: Defending champion Australia, having survived the slow torture of Port Elizabeth, is now aiming for a quick kill on the fast track of the Wanderers in Sunday's World Cup final.Ricky Ponting's men defended a meagre 212 in their semi-final with Sri Lanka on Tuesday, and now the skipper is confident that on a pitch more suited to their style, they will wrap up their second successive World Cup title.

"The Wanderers is generally one of the faster, bouncier wickets in South Africa, which will play into our hands," said Ponting who is still waiting to discover the identity of his team's opponents with India and Kenya not playing their semi-final in Durban until Thursday."When we played Pakistan at the ground in the first round, there was enough there for the faster bowlers, with a bit of bounce and sideways movement." But Ponting said Australia, whose unbeaten run has now stretched to 16 games, had shown it can play well on any surface and it aimed to keep the momentum going for its third final in a row.

Ponting's confidence is backed up by countryman Dav Whatmore, the coach of Sri Lanka, who saw his struggling team's semi-final hopes washed away by the rain at St George's Park on Tuesday."They're a confident side and their opponents will need to be equally as confident and back it with the right skills," said Whatmore who had been hoping his team could upset the champion side on the slow track of Port Elizabeth. "They are a very good team at the moment." Copyright AFP 2001

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