|Player:||GD McGrath, IR Bell, PD Collingwood|
|Event:||Commonwealth Bank Series 2006/07|
DateLine: 11th February 2007
Veteran Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath said Australia's shock defeat in the first tri-series final against England was a timely wake-up call for the World Cup favourites. McGrath, who endured one of his worst ever games on his 37th birthday, vowed the defeat would galvanise Australia as they seek a fourth World Cup in the Caribbean. While the champion paceman said the previous loss to England had stung, he conceded Friday's defeat was a real shock. "The loss to England the other night in Sydney hurt, but it probably didn't hurt enough," he said in Sydney on Saturday. "But last night really hurt. Sometimes you need that, especially leading into a big series like the World Cup. To have something like that makes us all refocus again and realise what's important and get out there and do the job properly. We let ourselves down last night but hopefully we can learn from it." McGrath said the Australians simply blew their chances against England.
At one point, the home side were 170-1, while England were wobbling at 15-3, yet somehow England triumphed by four wickets. "The way we played yesterday was pretty disappointing," he said. "From the stage where we were one for 170 off 30 overs, you were expecting probably a score of 300-plus. Then we had our opportunities when we bowled. We gave England a massive chance and they grabbed it." McGrath was the biggest culprit in the field, dropping a simple chance off Ian Bell that would have had England in deep trouble at 33-4. Instead, Bell and Paul Collingwood turned the game on its head with a century fourth-wicket partnership. McGrath is determined to atone on Sunday at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The second final, on his home ground, will be McGrath's last international appearance in Australia if England wins and secures the tri-series, with the veteran retiring after the World Cup. He is determined there won't be any repeats of Friday's personal dramas, especially with some experts suggesting that his World Cup berth could even be in some doubt after a generally indifferent tri-series. The infamous McGrath scowl was working overtime as he made a duck, dropped the Bell catch, failed to take a wicket, misfielded on at least one occasion and was hit twice in the head by the ball in the field. A disappointed McGrath couldn't explain his poor form, but said a similar effort on Sunday was unacceptable. "It definitely wasn't one of our better games," McGrath said. "Hopefully we can turn that around come tomorrow and really put a good performance on the board. Hopefully it won't be the last game in Australia for me. To walk out on the SCG there tomorrow, my home ground, my favourite ground in the world, I want to finish on a very special note."
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