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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Ponting admits team was rusty against Kenya

Ponting admits team was rusty against Kenya

Last updated on: March 14, 2011 09:52 IST

'We were a bit rusty'

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Australian skipper Ricky Ponting on Sunday admitted that the week-long gap between their two matches left his side a bit rusty in the field during their 60-run win over minnows Kenya in group A World Cup match in Bangalore.

Although Australia won the game with a comfortable margin of 60 runs, they failed to dismiss the minnows, with the defending champions' bowling attack taking just three wickets -- the other three falling to run-outs.

- Images: Kenya go down fighting to Aus

Kenya, chasing 325 for victory, were held to 264 for six in their fifth defeat in five matches.

Australia last played against Sri Lanka on March 5 at Colombo but the game was washed out due to heavy rains.

"A bit of rust on the team, even with the batting. But hopefully we've shaken off the rust ahead of the Canada game. We were a bit rusty but we batted really well," Ponting said.


Image: Australian captain Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke discuss field placements
Photographs: Reuters
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'Great to have Hussey back'

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Ponting gave full credit to Kenya for their fighting spirit.

"Full credit to Kenya, they fought really well. We tried a few different things today, bowling Smith in the Powerplay. Kenyans were good in their chase," he said.

- World Cup coverage

The Australian skipper also seemed happy with the return of crisis-man Michael Hussey, who scored a half century (54).

"Great to have Hussey back. He is a great player and batted beautiful today. It's great to have him back before the knock-out stage."

Kenya batted proudly with Collins Obuya (98 not out) just missing out on a maiden World Cup century. The African nation impressed with their bowling too.

Their spirited performance did not let Australia get away easily and the Kenyans batsmen did not fold like they did in previous matches, as Collins lead the resistance with a solid knock.


Image: Mike Hussey
Photographs: Getty Images
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'Disappointed with Collins missing out on his ton'

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Kenyan skipper Jimmy Kamande said, "We can hope to improve from today's performance. All in all Tanmay Mishra, Collins and some bowling from Nehimiah was excellent.

"Some positives to take home from this match. Bit disappointed not to see Collins scoring a hundred."

While Tanmay starred in Kenya's runchase with a solid 72, Nehimiah accounted for three Australian scalps in his 10 overs.

Man-of-the-Match Collins hoped to become a batting all-rounder one day.

"I'm very proud. I've been working hard on my batting, on my bowling as well. Hopefully I'll become a batting allrounder," he said.

Australia will now take on Canada and Pakistan in their last two league matches while Kenya play Zimbabwe in Kolkata on March 20.


Image: Australia's Brett Lee consoles Kenya's Collins Obuya (right) after Australia defeated Kenya on Sunday
Photographs: Reuters
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