Ponting embarrassed by loss to Zimbabwe

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CAPE TOWN, Sep 13 (Reuters) Australian captain Ricky Ponting admitted to being embarrassed after his team's stunning loss to Zimbabwe in their first match of the inaugural World Cup Twenty20 tournament at Newlands.

Australia scored a modest 138-9 after choosing to bat first and Zimbabwean opener Brendan Taylor anchored the African side to a thrilling win by five wickets with just one ball remaining yesterday.

Ponting said: ''Yes, of course I am embarrassed and so we should be. A lot of Australians back home right now will be feeling the same way. It's not often I've walked off a cricket field feeling that way but if you go into our (changing) rooms right now you'll find that everyone else is feeling the same way.

''Our batting just wasn't good enough. We were 19-3 and that's where we lost it. It was the same in the practice matches.

But we have no excuses whatsoever. They did just about everything better than we did today and we were outplayed, it's as simple as that. We were not good enough.'' Taylor was stunned to hear that Ponting had singled him out as an example of how he would like his own top order to play in 20-over cricket.

''That's an amazing compliment, amazing,'' said the 21-year-old.

''We all try to model ourselves on the way they play. They are our role models, not the other way round.

Zimbabwe play their second group match against England at the same venue just 24-hours later, today. Coach Robin Brown had a simple message for his young giant killers.

''I just asked them to hold off the celebrations until Thursday night after they've beaten England. Then they can give it a full go.'' The Australian defeat echoed another embarrassment in Cardiff in 2005 when they lost a 50-over match to Bangladesh, also by five wickets.

REUTERS BJR BST1028

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