'Lee might play in semi-finals'

Updated on Sep 17, 2004 05:16 PM IST

Ricky Ponting has left the door open for Brett Lee to return to the side for next week's semi-final.

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PTI | ByAdam Hathaway (AFP), London

Australian captain Ricky Ponting has left the door open for fast bowler Brett Lee to return to the side for next week's ICC Champions Trophy semi-final.

Lee was dropped in favour of Shane Watson as the Australians overwhelmed New Zealand by seven wickets at The Oval on Thursday and although Watson did not take a wicket the other quick bowlers shone.

Michael Kasprowicz took 3-32, Glenn McGrath 3-39 and Jason Gillespie 1-46 to do the lions' share of the damage and Lee could be hard-pressed to regain his place against the winners of the England-Sri Lanka clash which is played on Friday.

The Australians had considered playing just three pace men against New Zealand and if they adopt that policy next week Lee will almost certainly be surplus to requirements.

"It is going to make it tough for Brett Lee but I am not ruling him out of the semi-final," said Ponting.

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