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Ganguly down after another close loss

Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly was once again left rueing the lost opportunity to score a win against Australia despite being in a good position.

india Updated: Jan 22, 2004 19:23 IST

Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly was once again left rueing the lost opportunity to score a win against Australia despite being in a good position in a pulsating tri-series cricket match on Thursday.

"I am a little bit disappointed. We were in a good position. The wicket had livened up after the rain, but they played well in the end," said the skipper.

The thrilling flood-lit encounter saw Australia achieve the revised target of 225 in 34 overs with two wickets in hand and one ball to spare. India had scored 296 for four in 50 overs.

"The match could have gone either way," Ganguly said while praising both his bowlers and batsmen.

India had narrowly lost the tri-series opener to Australia in Melbourne before paying back the compliment in the next match between the two teams in Brisbane.

Australian captain Ricky Ponting said the Indians had forced them on the backfoot with their good batting display but his team managed to finish on top in the end.

"We got some early wickets. But a great partnership (between Yuvraj Singh and VVS Laxman) put us on the backfoot."

Ponting said they started off well but lost their way to concede advantage.

"We lost some wickets in the middle. The wicket had freshened up after rains. But the boys played well in the end," Ponting said while singling out Brett Lee for praise for hitting the crucial six in the last over.

Despite the defeat, Ganguly was praiseful of both his bowlers and batsmen for the effort they put into the match.

"The youngsters bowled their hearts out... They will learn as they play. As for Yuvraj, it was one of the best one-day knocks I have ever seen. He is a class act. Batting at number six, he does not get enough opportunity. But he showed today what a quality player he is.

"(VVS) Laxman too is in fantastic form. It was a tough situation as three of our wickets were down for 80 runs. But he played very sensibly."

Man-of-the-match Yuvraj Singh said the award "would have meant more" had India won the match. "But I think it was one of my best one-day knocks. It feels great to have scored a 100 against the best side in the world. But, again at the end of the day we lost the game."

Yuvraj said he had been itching to play on the Australian tracks. "When I watched the Tests on TV back home, I was very eager to get here. The pitches here have genuine bounce and I love playing in these conditions."

The one-day specialist paced his innings beautifully to hit a career-best 139 off just 122 balls.

First Published: Jan 22, 2004 19:23 IST