`Our batting not good enough to win a WC game`

Updated: Mar 20, 2011, 09:05 AM IST

Colombo: Australian captain Ricky Pointing on Saturday slammed the listless batting display by his side in their four-wicket loss to Pakistan here, saying that a similar performance in the quarterfinals could end their hopes for defending the title.

Australia were bowled out for 176 and Pakistan went on to win with nine overs to spare in their last Group A match. The loss ended Australia`s 34-game unbeaten streak in the World Cup since May 1999.

"We have to learn quickly. We have done all the talking about this World Cup game, but today we found ourselves in some tough situations and we weren`t good enough to get out of it. We have to learn from that and learn quickly," Ponting said at the post-match press conference.

"The way we batted was nowhere near good enough to win a World Cup game. We have some thinking to do about the way we batted. The efforts of that kind is not good enough to win World Cup matches," he said.

Australia finished third in Group A and they will play the second place side in Group B, which will be the winner of the match between India and West Indies in Chennai on Sunday. "If we play the same way against India (if they beat West Indies) in Ahmedabad, you can guarantee that the same situation is going to pop up again," Ponting said.

Despite defending 176 runs, Australia stretched Pakistan by taking six wickets and Ponting praised his bowlers for that. "I thought we fought our way back into the game with the ball and on the field. We gave ourselves a good chance to win when we had them six down, just not good enough today. We needed to make 240."

Australia did not utilise the leg-spin of Steven Smith although Pakistan depended heavily on spin with the trio of Abdur Rehman, Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Hafeez sharing bulk of the bowling. Ponting, however, defended his decision to stick to the seam bowlers. "I thought our fast bowlers were the most dangerous on that wicket. I thought that wicket was up and down for the quicks. I also thought Shaun Tait would make a breakthrough for us in those middle overs. Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson were dangerous.

"Shane Watson bowled his quota of ten overs. We could not bowl everyone tonight as the game could not go down to 50 overs. I used the guys whom I thought were the most dangerous bowlers on that wicket," Ponting explained. Pakistan coach Waqar Younis, meanwhile, expresses happiness with the effort of his team. "It`s definitely an achievement. It`s not the easiest of pitches. It`s a used pitch and the ball was turning and it was up and down. 176 was definitely gettable, but the way we got it was not all that good probably," said Waqar.

"Ashad Shafiq is becoming mature every day. He`s very steady and picks up runs. At number three he has done a superb job for us."

PTI