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I thought I had blown it: Ponting

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August 16, 2005 10:58 IST

Australia captain Ricky Ponting thought he had let the third Ashes Test against England slip through his fingers after getting out before Monday's dramatic drawn finale.

Ponting, who scored 156 and batted for almost seven hours before being ninth man out, told a news conference: "I thought I had let the whole thing slip, I must admit.

"It's been mentally draining. The emotions have been up and down all day but I'm feeling pretty good about things now."

Australia, set an unlikely 423 to win, closed on 371 for nine.

Their last two batsmen, Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath, survived the final 24 balls after Ponting's dismissal to save the game and keep the five-match series at 1-1.

"I didn't have a lot of faith in them but they have managed to get through and did a fantastic job," Ponting said. "There was a real good mood in our room after the game.

"It doesn't feel like a win, it just feels like we have worked extremely hard.


"It was a long, hard, tough day...we managed to just sneak through. It was an unbelievable Test match."

He described his innings, his highest score against England, as "probably one of my best knocks". Ponting added: "It's nice to put your hand up and do the big things the team requires of you."

Reflecting on the last two Tests, the second match at Edgbaston ended in a two-run win for England, he said: "You won't find two better Test matches, more tense, than you have witnessed in the past two weeks.

"They have been awesome."

England captain Michael Vaughan brushed off suggestions his team would be disappointed not to have won.

He said: "It can be hard to produce two good performances on the trot, it's such high intensity and high pressure cricket.

"I thought we were outstanding in this game, better than we were at Edgbaston, we produced four days of really good cricket. I don't think we lost any session.

"Three weeks ago [after losing the first Test] we were written off, written out of the contest.

"I've told the guys to keep their heads up. I really believe we played a great game here."


Tony Lawrence in Manchester
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