SA in Australia

Bitter pill for Ponting

2009-01-26 21:37
Christo Buchner

Adelaide. – It was Australia’s national day Monday, but definitely not their day on the cricket field.

Australian captain Ricky Ponting admitted after his side’s shattering eight-wicket defeat in the fourth one-day international at the Adelaide Oval that South Africa were the superior team in every respect.

South Africa wrapped up series victories in the test and one-day series.

“Congratulations to the South Africans. They really deserved the victory. They played us off the park today. It was our worst performance this year,” said Ponting.

“South Africa were best at rising to the occasion and executing when it mattered. Today’s batting collapse when we looked poised to score 300 runs was the story of our series. We started every game well, but did not build on it. I am just as guilty as any other player.

“I scored 60, 50 and 40, and did not continue to get a century. In this game 50 is not enough. It does not lead you anywhere. It was a terrific batting wicket and a quick outfield and there is no excuse for only getting to 222.”

South Africa passed that total for the loss of only two wickets and 11.5 overs remaining.

“That’s a hiding in anyone’s language. The spectators have every reason to be disappointed,” said Ponting.

“I can assure you all the players in the dressing room are disappointed. We’re always proud of the cricket we play, but could not say that after today. There was no spark in the field. Everybody has to do some soul-searching and ask himself whether this is the way in which he wants to represent his country.

“The defeat is a bitter pill to swallow, particularly considering the circumstances.”

South African captain Johan Botha admitted he was surprised by how quickly the game had swung. The Aussies were looking good at 110/2 and were all out 112 runs later.

Botha bowled brilliantly and took 2/28 from 10 overs.

He said the key to success was to take wickets early. He had the dangerous Brad Haddin caught for 3 and trapped Mike Hussey lbw for 28.

Botha said the series victory was particularly memorable because it was achieved on Australian soil.

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