We’re ready for Murali and Vaas, warns Ponting

GROS ISLET, St Lucia, April 26, 2007 (AFP) – Australia captain Ricky Ponting insists his world champions are ready to face down Sri Lanka’s veteran bowlers Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas in Saturday’s World Cup final. Australia have already beaten Sri Lanka in the tournament when they won their Super Eights clash by seven wickets in Grenada 10 days ago.

But the Asian side courted controversy by resting Muralitharan and Vaas, two of the survivors from the team which beat Australia in the 1996 final.

“Sri Lanka have a chance to make a statement against us,” said Ponting after Australia eased into a fourth successive final with a seven-wicket win over South Africa.

“There’s no doubt Sri Lanka are a good team, but we are very confident after what we’ve done in the last seven weeks. Winning games with big margins gives us a lot of confidence.

“I think we executed our gameplan very well the last time we played them. They had their full batting line-up and we bowled them out.

“We know Murali will do what he does. Lasith Malinga is bowling well and Vaas is a good bowler with the new ball.”

Australia have won all of their 10 matches so far in the Caribbean and are unbeaten in their last 28