It was a tough win, Players showed character: Ponting

Published: Monday, April 9, 2007, 12:07 [IST]
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St Peter's, Apr 9: A thrilled Australian captain Ricky Ponting lavished &13;praise on his team saying the players showed character when it was needed to &13;notch up a tough win over England.

''Though on face of it, seven wicket &13;win looks easy but it was not so, it was hard match and England played well,'' &13;Ponting told media persons after the game.

He said: ''It was a pretty &13;tight game right the way through -- Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell played &13;beautifully after we got a couple of early breakthroughs.'' ''But I think the &13;difference today was our intensity when the game wasn't going for us in the &13;middle of their innings, and our fielding was great.

''We kept the &13;pressure on and our bowlers did a terrific job at the end. We remained focused &13;at that stage and that is what made all the diffetrence,'' he said.

He &13;said the wicket of Ian bell was the turning point of the game.

''They &13;(England) were batting well and were 164 for 2 and that time we got the &13;breakthrough and I think that was the turning point of this match.'' The &13;Australian skipper said his decision to delay taking the third power play was to &13;protect his bowlers.

''We kept it back as Kevin and Ian were going &13;pretty well at that stage, and when you take a powerplay early on with set &13;batters it's pretty hard work for the bowlers.

''I decided to hold it off &13;to see if we could get the ball to reverse, and (man of the match) Shaun Tait &13;was terrific in that spell. I think when the power plays first came in, captains &13;were trying to get them out of the way right at the start.'' The skipper added: &13;''With varying conditions around the world, there are going to be times when &13;it's going to be in your favour to take them later in the innings, and today was &13;one of those days.'' He was modest about his batting, though he was highest &13;scorer with 86 he played it down saying: ''Today wasn't very pretty, but we're &13;getting a few runs. Our openers have got us off to good starts throughout the &13;tournament, Michael Clarke looked terrific and Andrew Symonds got a bit of time &13;out in the middle.'' ''Hopefully we can keep improving as the tournament goes &13;on.'' Tait, who took three wickets conceding 41 runs in his 10 overs also &13;addressed the press conference and said: ''I was quite happy with the way I &13;bowled with the new ball, which was a change from the previous games.'' ''Today &13;I bashed them in a bit more, and I feel I'm a bit smarter about my &13;bowling.

We all stepped up as Glenn McGrath fought back well, Bracks &13;[Nathan Bracken] took three wickets at the end which was fantastic.'' Ponting &13;however made it clear that his team was not going to relax.

''It is the &13;world cup and you just can't take other teams lightly. Ireland, is tough, they &13;have beaten Pakistan,'' Ponting said about their next rivals whom they face on &13;April 12. The defending champions will take on Sri Lanka (April 16) and New &13;Zealand (April 20) in their remaining league matches.


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