Ponting - We were rusty
Ricky Ponting feels Australia are paying the price for their World Cup schedule after labouring to a win over Kenya.
Last Updated: 13/03/11 6:47pm
Australia captain Ricky Ponting felt his side had been a little rusty in the 60-run win over Kenya - a result that puts them through to the quarter-finals.
Michael Clarke made 93 and Michael Hussey, who was recalled in place of his brother, David, marked his return with a quick-fire 53 as the reigning champions amassed 325-6 after opting to bat first.
However they did not have things all their own way in the field, despite reducing the associate nation to 46-3 inside the mandatory powerplay.
Collins Obuya made 98 not out as he and Tanmay Mishra (72) made sure Kenya batted out their full 50 overs, eventually finishing on 264-6.
"Full credit to Kenya, I thought they fought the game out well, particularly with their batting," said Ponting afterwards.
"We tried a few different things with the field and also, for example, bowling Steven Smith during the powerplay.
"There was a bit of rust on the team today I think. With the batting, we got 320 but the fielders were a bit rusty as you can probably expect after 16 days of not much cricket.
"We hope to get rid of it (the rust) before the Canada game."
Ponting was particularly pleased with the performance of Hussey, who had been called up to the squad to replace the injured Doug Bollinger.
The left-handed batsman had been left out of the original 15-man party due to concerns over his own fitness.
"It was great to have Hussey back in the squad and to see him playing well," Ponting added. "He batted beautifully today and the way that we know he can."
Despite suffering a fifth straight defeat in the tournament, Kenya could at least take some pride from their efforts with the bat.
Obuya's excellent knock, which included nine fours and three sixes, saw him named man of the match.
"I'm very proud," he said. "I've been working hard on my batting, on my bowling as well. Hopefully I'll become a batting all-rounder."