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Ponting pleased with Aussie spirit

NatWest Series

Ricky Ponting

Ricky Ponting pulls with panache as he and Michael Clarke anchored Australia's innings with 92 and an unbeaten 99 respectively

Australia skipper Ricky Ponting cited his side's character as the major factor for their 78-run victory over England at the Brit Oval.

The tourists were playing for pride, having already conceded the NatWest Series at Old Trafford on Sunday.

However, Ponting and vice-captain Michael Clarke's 155-run alliance set up a total of 290 for five, which Australia comfortably defended.

Ponting, who struck a composed 92 from 93 balls, was glad to make s significant score after a disappointing start to the series.

“When you are in the top three you have to be a consistent run-scorer and I haven't been that so far,” he said. “I was just glad to get back amongst the runs and for the team to get a win.

“It was a good sign today of the character in the team that they could bounce back when things had been pretty tough.”

The 35-year-old was naturally pleased to chalk up a victory after being outplayed in the opening three games.

“At long last - we played a lot better today,” he said. “Our batting was back to the level it needs to be. We controlled the game right through I thought.”

But he will not be getting carried away with one win out of four.

“We lost the series, but it’s nice to play well,” he said. “There’s no doubt about that - even for me personally.

"I feel like I’m back to the way I want to play, and I hope the whole team will be able to take a bit away from that performance.”

“I’m not sure if relief is the right word,” he added. “I’m proud of the boys for the way they played today.

“Things didn’t go to plan in the first three games - so what I said to the boys this morning was to keep backing their instincts and talents and soon enough our best cricket is going to come out.

“When you’re in a situation like we were today, 3-0 down, it says a lot to be able to bounce back, pick yourself up and play a game like we did.”