Ponting praises perfect performance - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ponting praises perfect performance

By Will Swanton 24/01/2003 06:00:27 AM Comments (0)

Captain Ricky Ponting described Australia's thumping of England as a near-perfect performance and admitted his side had been eyeing off the World Cup throughout a tri series it now seems certain to win.

Chasing England's inept 117, Australia raced to 0-118 in 12.2 overs, with Adam Gilchrist making a boundary-studded 69 and Matthew Hayden 45, both from just 37 balls.

The only surprising aspect of the lopsided first final was the announcement of fast bowler Brett Lee as man of the match. Lee was outstanding taking a match-shaping 3-29, but there's no doubt Gilchrist stole the show.

His whirlwind knock, punctuated by 15 fours, including nine in 14 balls, followed his world record-equalling six dismissals behind the stumps: five catches and a stumping.

"It's not very often you can walk off the field and say you've almost put on a ten-out-of ten performance but we pretty much did that today," said Ponting.

Australia's awesome display was set in motion by opening bowlers Lee and Brad Williams (2-22), who delivered 15 overs that left England 4-38 after the first hour.

"The way Brett and Brad started proceedings today really set the tone," said Ponting.

"They bowled well for us, bowled fast - the fielding was pretty good then the batting was very, very good.

"We thought we could lift a bit for the finals, we generally do that. When the big games come around our side usually plays wells and lifts and we certainly did that tonight."

Test No.7 Gilchrist's elevation to the top of the order in one-day games is a calculated gamble. He might fall cheaply every now and again, but when he fires the rewards are massive.

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