MARTYN'S PARTY

Australia seemed to be mimicking England's collapse when Damien Martyn cried, `Enough is Enough.' Over to VIJAY LOKAPALLY.

But for Damien Martyn's electrifying knock, it was a most forgettable cricket encounter. "He batted very well," said Australia skipper Ricky Ponting in a succinct assessment of a quality performance.

It was not that Australia was in danger of losing the contest but England had just snatched three quick wickets, including that of Ponting, and there was an understandable wave of optimism in the England camp.

Martyn dashed all England hopes with a sensational assault, making the most of the situation as he had walked in with the power play in force. "It becomes easy sometimes to get in during power play. You can play your shots," said Martyn.

His electrifying knock lit up a contest that started well when England posted an 83-run opening partnership. But the momentum was lost once Andrew Strauss and Ian Bell were separated. "We had a good start. Bell and Strauss played well. We had a lot of positives from the match. Anderson and Yardy bowled well, but it was disappointing to lose the match," said England skipper Andrew Flintoff.

"We (seniors) should have stepped up. It was not a definite ploy, but we did not capitalise on the brilliant start. We are a young side and the seniors needed to do more, but I must say that Martyn played very well," Flintoff said.

England clearly missed the services of Marcus Trescothick and Simon Jones, both out of the tour party. "They are fine players, but I am not going to worry about guys who are not with the team. I am very happy with the squad we have and I like the talent, character and determination in the dressing room," Flintoff observed.

The batting collapse was so typical as England suffered dents in the middle overs. England was also let down by some tardy bowling but Flintoff was not willing to blame any individual. "I am not in the business of blaming. We just did not perform as a team and this is a team game. We should collectively take the blame.

We came here to perform and play for pride and improve our cricket. We knew it was going to be tough. We started ok, got early wickets and hoped to pull it off, but in the end it was not enough," said a dejected Flintoff.

Australia did nothing wrong, barring a dropped catch by Martyn to let off Bell when he was 23. Martyn, however, made up for that lapse with an innings of determination. "We were waiting for this game and I enjoyed the moment. I thought we did well in all the departments. I was able to build a partnership (with Mike Hussey) and I really enjoyed the situation. As a team we enjoy challenges," remarked Martyn.

There were plenty of gains for the Australians from this match. The progress of Mitchell Johnson was striking. His three-wicket burst and the support he received from Watson were enough to spoil England's hopes of setting a big target.

"Johnson has improved with every game. He has learnt to perform on the big stage and is getting the big players out. He got Lara and Sachin (at Kuala Lumpur) and Pietersen (at Jaipur). He is fitting into international cricket very well," gushed Ponting on the latest in the list of matchwinners for Australia.

Australia played a very superior brand of cricket. Watson extracted enough bounce and Johnson combined speed with swing to rattle the English batting. And then the stage was taken over by Martyn. Australia lost Adam Gilchrist, Ponting and Watson in a hurry, but Martyn (78 off 91 balls with 12 fours) took command and his 118-run stand with Hussey settled the issue in Australia's favour.

THE SCORES

Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur, October 21. Australia won by six wickets.

England: A. J. Strauss c Gilchrist b Symonds 56; I. R. Bell c Hussey b Watson 43; K. P. Pietersen c Gilchrist b Johnson 1; A. Flintoff c Hussey b Watson 4; M. H. Yardy c Gilchrist b Watson 4; P. D. Collingwood (not out) 22; J. M. Dalrymple c Ponting b Johnson 3; C. W. Read c Gilchrist b McGrath 0; S. I. Mahmood c & b Bracken 8; S. J. Harmison c Gilchrist b Johnson 1; J. M. Anderson b McGrath 15; Extras (lb 3, w 3, nb 6) 12; Total (45 overs) 169.

Fall of wickets: 1-83, 2-84, 3-110, 4-115, 5-125, 6-135, 7-136, 8-150, 9-151.

Australia bowling: Lee 9-3-25-0; Bracken 8-0-38-1; McGrath 9-1-36-2; Johnson 10-0-40-3; Watson 7-0-16-3; Symonds 2-0-11-1.

Australia: A. C. Gilchrist b Mahmood 10; S. R. Watson b Anderson 21; R. T. Ponting c Strauss b Mahmood 1; D. R. Martyn c Read b Harmison 78; M. K. Hussey (not out) 32; A. Symonds (not out) 8; Extras (b 4, lb 5, w 6, nb 5) 20; Total (four wkts in 36.5 overs) 170.

Fall of wickets: 1-30, 2-34, 3-34, 4-152.

England bowling: Anderson 9-2-31-1; Mahmood 10-0-57-2; Harmison 4.5-0-45-1; Yardy 10-1-18-0; Dalrymple 3-0-10-0;