Tue, May 13, 2003 - Page 19 News List

Australian openers complete centuries against West Indies

AP , ST.JOHN'S, ANTIGUA

Openers Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden completed centuries in a record-breaking double century stand Sunday as Australia retained their grip on the fourth and final test.

Left-handers Langer (111) and Hayden (177) were the backbone of Australia's second innings of 417. Captain Steve Waugh, in his final innings in the Caribbean, supported with an undefeated 45.

The West Indies, with a victory target of 418, went to close on 47 without loss as Chris Gayle (19 not out) and Devon Smith (21 not out) aimed to emulate the visiting pair.

The home team's bowlers battled bravely after Langer and Hayden stretched their overnight partnership from 171 to 242.

Fast bowler Mervyn Dillon led the way in the absence of seven-wicket first innings hero, Jermaine Lawson, who was laid low with a muscle strain in his lower back.

Dillon grabbed four for 112 while Vasbert Drakes (two for 92) and off-spinner Omari Banks (two for 153) supported manfully.

Hayden brought up his landmark first in the opening session after he and Langer dominated the first hour.

It was the powerful Queenslander's 14th century in his 42nd test.

Langer soon followed with his 15th in his 63rd match. Both batsmen scored their second century of the series.

The stand of 242 for the first wicket was a record fifth partnership of 200 or more between the two and also their highest.

The duo eclipsed the famous West Indians, Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes, who shared four stands of 200 plus during their lengthy career together.

It was the fourth time that the Australian duo had each notched a century in the same innings, drawing them level with the world mark held by countrymen Bill Lawry and Bobby Simpson.

Part-timer Chris Gayle ended the four-hour association between Langer and Hayden with his second delivery as Langer edged low to first slip. The 32-year-old Langer lashed 17 fours and a six off 260 balls in four hours.

Off-spinner Banks further stalled the Australians with the cheap wickets of Adam Gilchrist (6) and Martin Love (2) just before lunch.

Gilchrist edged off the wicket-keeper's shoulder to second slip while Love tucked a catch to leg slip. Dillon emerged after the interval to put the skids under the middle order. The 28-year-old first removed Darren Lehmann (14) after his blossoming stand of 45 with the now rampant Hayden.

Later, he accounted for Andy Bichel (0), Brett Lee (18) and Stuart MacGill (0). Hayden eventually fell when in sight of his second test double century at 338 for five.

The 31-year-old was run out by an excellent pickup and direct hit of the bowler's stumps from substitute Carlton Baugh, the West Indies reserve wicket-keeper.

Hayden cracked 22 fours and three sixes off 260 balls in 347 minutes.

This story has been viewed 2690 times.
TOP top