Mystified Ponting targets Ashes recovery

Australia skipper Ricky Ponting admitted on Monday that he was mystified by his team’s shock World Twenty20 exit.

By (AFP)

Published: Tue 9 Jun 2009, 11:32 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 8:48 AM

Australia were beaten by six wickets by Sri Lanka at Trent Bridge to follow their seven-wicket loss to the West Indies in their Group C opener on Saturday and crashed out of the competition.

The defeat left Ponting’s side with over two weeks to fill before they face Sussex at Hove in a four-day match in the build-up to the Ashes which starts with the first Test in Cardiff on July 8.

“It’s disappointing to go out of the tournament and I can’t explain why,” said Ponting.

“The training was spot-on and there was a good attitude in the group. But in the big moments we haven’t been able to play and we made too many mistakes.

“We knew that it would be a huge challenge against their spinners. We knew we had to play them well. We didn’t do that and Sri Lanka deserved to win the game.

“Now we have to move on as quickly as possible and focus on the Ashes.”

While Australia head for a pre-Ashes training camp in Leicester, Sri Lanka, playing their first international tournament since they were caught up in a terror attack in Lahore in March, can look ahead to the Super Eights stage of the Twenty20.

Skipper Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan hit half-centuries after Australia managed only 159-9, a total restricted by mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis and fast bowler Lasith Malinga who claimed three wickets each.

Sangakkara, in his first match as skipper, said it was crucial to have confidence they could win.

“It was a great performance. When you play against Australia the key is to believe you can win,” he said.

“Our strength has always been spin bowling and we played two guys whom the Australians haven’t seen much of. So their batsmen couldn’t really target one single bowler.

“Now we want to beat the West Indies in the final group match. We can’t afford to be complacent.”

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