Monday, 5 October 2009

Ponting targets final Aussie push


Australia captain Ricky Ponting says his side will have to be at their best to beat New Zealand in the Champions Trophy final at Centurion on Monday.
The Aussies, who thrashed England in the semi-final, are aiming to win their fourth 50-over crown in five attempts.
"To have this group of relatively young guys make it through to a final is a great achievement but we won't be happy until we peak on Monday," he said.
"We will need to play our best game in a month in the final."
Holders Australia brushed England aside in the last four having topped their group on the way to the final at Centurion.
The Aussies have won the previous three World Cups and are the reigning Champions Trophy holders.
They went into this year's tournament behind some of their rivals in the rankings table but will now be favourites against New Zealand.
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"It's always satisfying when you win," said Ponting, who was fined 20% of his match fee for a slow over rate against England, with his colleagues being hit with 10% charges.
"It's the first time in a few years we have not been ranked the number one team coming into a tournament like this.
"We were probably number three or four for this one and that is where some of the experts thought we would finish.
"But we are happy with the way we have played one-day cricket over the last three to four weeks.
"I thought we would be competitive when we arrived here. Our record in these events speaks for itself and my expectations have always been pretty high with this group."
New Zealand beat Pakistan in their semi-final as they also upset the form book to secure the meeting with rivals Australia.
On Monday the adrenalin will take over and everyone will be pretty excited about playing in a final
New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori
"The Kiwis have probably upset a few along the way," said Ponting.
"We know they are always a competitive team and few gave them a chance against Pakistan but they were obviously the better team."
Black Caps skipper Daniel Vettori would have liked an extra day of rest after the win over Pakistan on Saturday in a day/night match, but insists his team are hungry to win the competition.
"I wish we had another day before the final, to be honest," he said.
"It was exhausting to get through the late game, but I think once Monday turns up the adrenalin will take over and everyone will be pretty excited about playing in a final."
Vettori added: "I think you probably have achieved what you set out to achieve. But once you reach that level, you realise there is an immense desire to go all the way and I think there's no relief in the camp.
"It was all about how we're going to win on Monday as opposed to 'it's great that we've made it'. It's pleasing to me as captain to hear those sorts of sentiments and we've got to make sure we put it into practice."

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