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Ponting salutes Martyn fireworks

Australia Captain Ricky Ponting lavished praise on Australia's Twenty20 star Damien Martyn, whose innings of 96 consigned South Africa to a heavy defeat.

Captain Ricky Ponting lavished praise on Australia's Twenty20 star Damien Martyn, whose innings of 96 consigned South Africa to a heavy defeat.

Ponting said: "He struck the ball very, very well and it goes to show how good a player he can be. He's looking forward to having a good VB Series.

"The wicket was quite pacy and had good bounce so it's important you make the most of it," added the skipper.

"We did a little bit of homework and came out and showcased our skills."

Martyn, dropped on 41, took Australia to a score of 209-3, far too much for South Africa to chase in front of a largely partisan crowd of 39,000.

It was a return to form for the right-hander, who was dropped from the Test side after a disappointing Ashes series then suffered a broken finger.

Martyn said: "It was back to the young days for me.

"The crowd's come out, it's been a great spectacle and the boys put on a great show."

The VB series, featuring old-fashioned 50-over one-day cricket, starts on Thursday with Australia taking on Sri Lanka.

South Africa join the series on Saturday when they face the hosts again at the Gabba.

Captain Graeme Smith commented: "It was not a great peformance from us, but all credit to Australia - it was played in a good spirit and the crowd got good value.

"I don't think we bowled well enough up front. We had a bit of an inexperienced attack at this level and we got shown up a little."

Smith was disappointed by the team's performance in the field, with three catches going down and one or two run-out chances spurned.

"We've really fielded well in one-day cricket over the last few months and heading into the VB Series that's going to be a crucial part of our game," he added.

source - bbc.co.uk
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