February 20, 2003

Ponting salutes Dutch courage

CricInfo

Australia's captain Ricky Ponting had warm praise for the Netherlands after his side clinched a comfortable 75-run win in their rain-affected World Cup Pool A clash in Potchefstroom.

Damien Martyn hit a top score of 67 as the holders posted 170 for two from their 36-over innings, which was twice delayed by interruptions for rain.

The Dutch, needing 198 for victory according to the Duckworth/Lewis method, were bowled out for 122 from 30.2 overs.

"Full credit to the Dutch boys, they turned up and wanted to play," Ponting told Sky Sports. "It was done on a wicket that wasn't 100%, so full credit to them for wanting to play the game.

"We decided to get through those last six or seven overs without losing any wickets as we thought that would give us a decent enough score to defend as the game went on.

"Things are going really well. The lads are enjoying themselves and are playing some very good cricket so far. We have a big game coming up against Zimbabwe and hopefully we can play at our best in that game as well."

Netherlands skipper Roland Lefebvre felt his side had done themselves justice in their first one-day international against Australia.

"I think we played very well. It was enjoyable for everyone," he said. "It was the one game everyone wanted to play in and I think it showed. I hope we can carry this on.

"This is the reason why we are here - to learn and to enjoy ourselves and we certainly did that today. We worked hard and I was very proud of the way our bowlers handled the conditions this morning.

"We kept a very disciplined line at to restrict this Australia team to 170 for two from 36 overs was a marvellous effort."