After edging out Pakistan in the final of the Videocon Cup in Amstelveen, Ricky Ponting reckoned that Australia were in fine shape to go on to England and annex the ICC Champions Trophy, the one bauble missing from a glittering trophy cabinet. "We have never won the Champions Trophy," he said. "We want to win it this time."
In the aftermath of the victory, Ponting doffed his cap to the bowlers who engineered a collapse after Pakistan had appeared to be cruising at 148 for 4. He also suggested that Australia's total of 192 for 5 had been more than adequate on a pitch where strokemaking was never easy. "Our bowlers bowled well," he said. "We successfully defended the total. We had hoped to make somewhere around 200. It was very difficult to play the new ball on this surface."
Ponting was impressed however with the manner in which Pakistan - a seemingly reformed outfit under the guidance of Bob Woolmer - acquitted themselves. "They are a very good team," he said. "We took some good catches. They had a couple of run outs in the middle. But still they batted and fought right up to the end."
A disappointed Inzamam-ul-Haq rued the middle-order collapse that cost his team victory. "Our bowlers bowled really well. 193 was not a big total," he said. "But we could not reach our target as the middle-order batsmen did not play well. The two run outs took the game away from us."
He also defended the slow start - Pakistan made only 47 in the first 21 overs - saying, "It was difficult to play the new ball. So, we wanted see off the new ball and go for the shots." He was optimistic though about the challenges that lay ahead. "My boys worked hard here. The batsmen did well in the first game. The bowlers performed well in the final. I hope to continue to play well in the Champions Trophy."