Ponting looks to Tests

Australian skipper Ricky Ponting said that he will try and dismiss the fact that his side was unable to defend what was a world record one-day international score of 4-434 against South Africa in the fifth and deciding one-day international.

The Proteas amazingly reached 9-438 with a ball remaining in their innings, with many pundits declaring the match as one of the greatest spectacles in the history of the game.

Ponting racked up his highest ever ODI score – 164 off 105 balls – but was disappointed his bowlers could not close out what appeared a certain victory after Australia became the first team to reach 400 runs in the limited overs game.

The Tasmanian admitted that the unlikely result will boost the Proteas' confidence in the build-up to the three Test series, but said it is important Australia puts the game behind them quickly.

"South Africa will get something out of it, we must just try and forget about it," Ponting said.

"We'll have pretty much a different group of bowlers for the Tests, so hopefully there won't be too many mental scars from this game.

"There was always a chance they could score 434 because we did. But the odds must have been pretty high although it was a great wicket and the ground's very small.

"But there's no way they should have scored that many runs."

Typical of Ponting's competitive and team-oriented nature, he coolly played down his own personal milestone in the defeat.

"I couldn't care less because we lost the game. Today was all about winning the series," he said.

South African captain Graeme Smith, who belted 90 off 55 balls in the run chase, said that his side achieved a half-time innings target which gave them the confidence to reach the daunting total.

"You can't sit down and plan to chase 435 but we knew momentum was going to be the key. Our initial target was 185 in 25 overs and we knew we had a chance after we got way past that," he said.

"It's nice to win a tight game against Australia and it's a massive evening for all of us. It's been an emotional roller-coaster and tomorrow will be all about recovery."

South Africa's man-of-the-match Herschelle Gibbs (175 off 111 balls) said that he had a premonition he would score a century before entering the decider.

"I woke up this morning with the same feeling as when I scored a hundred in the 1999 World Cup - that today was going to be a different sort of day. It's only happened to me twice and I still can't believe it."

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