We’re ready for Pakistan: Ponting
Australia captain Ricky Ponting believes his side are ready for their biggest World Cup test so far when they tackle fellow heavyweights Pakistan on Saturday.
Defending champions Australia eased past Canada by seven wickets on Wednesday to go top of Group A with nine points from five games.
Like Pakistan they have already reached the quarter-finals, but Saturday’s winner could decide who finishes top of the pool which should mean a potentially easier assignment in the last eight.
“We haven’t been fully tested yet, but we will be by Pakistan in Colombo and we are looking forward to it,” said Ponting, who again failed with the bat, making just seven runs.
“Hopefully I’m saving up the runs for the bigger matches coming up.”
Openers Shane Watson (94) and Brad Haddin (88) laid the groundwork for Australia’s win as the champions chased a 212-run target with the pair putting on 183 for the opening wicket.
“Watson and Haddin were outstanding at the top of the order. We got the result we wanted,” said Ponting.
“The wicket in Colombo is an old one so will take a lot of spin. We will have to maximise against the new ball and we will look to Watson and Haddin again to give us the flying start that they are capable of providing.”
Haddin said it took a while for him and partner Watson to get into a groove.
“We found our rhythm late in our innings just like our bowlers did late on when Canada batted,” said the wicketkeeper.
“Now we hope to take it all into the game against Pakistan. We are hitting the areas we want to hit.
“You have to build things at the back end of the game and we are doing that perfectly. We are heading in the right direction for Pakistan.
“It’s going to be a massive game and one we’ve been looking forward to since we played Sri Lanka.”
Canada enjoyed a great start against Australia’s pace attack.
Hiral Patel, their 19-year-old India-born opener, hit a career best 54 and the team was well-placed at 150 for two at one stage.
But Australia, now unbeaten in 34 matches at the World Cup since 1999, then took five wickets for 19 runs with Brett Lee ending with figures of four for 46.
“The boys will take a lot from this World Cup,” said Canada captain Ashish Bagai, whose side finished the tournament with one win and five defeats.
“The bowlers did well throughout the competition, but our batsmen let us down.
“We came here to win the game and beat Australia. We had a positive attitude and laid a good platform but we showed our lack of experience and collapsed.”
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