Fri, Oct 10, 2003 - Page 22 News List

Martyn blasts Australia ahead

CRICKET INTERNATIONAL Damien Martyn, 53 runs with nine fours, shared 97 runs for the third wicket with opener Matthew Hayden, 76 not out, as the hosts rose to 203 for three at tea after batting first


Australian cricket batsman Matthew Hayden, center, plays a sweep shot to score his 100 runs during day one of the first test against Zimbabwe in Perth, Australia, yesterday.


Damien Martyn returned from a finger injury with a blazing half-century to put Australia on course for a big first-day total yesterday in the first cricket test against Zimbabwe at the WACA.

Martyn, 53 runs with nine fours, shared 97 runs for the third wicket with opener Matthew Hayden, 76 not out, as the hosts progressed to 203 for three at tea after being asked to bat first by the tourists.

Skipper Steve Waugh was unbeaten on four at the break after scoring his first runs with a cover-driven four off the third ball he faced. Waugh, 38, and probably playing his last test in Perth before retiring next year, was given a prolonged standing ovation by 5,500 spectators -- the third-worst first-day crowd here.

Zimbabwe dismissed Justin Langer for 26 and Ricky Ponting for 37 before toiling in 29 degrees Celsius temperature to separate the third-wicket pair.

Martyn, playing his first test since January this year, was in superb touch to dominated his 135-ball partnership with Hayden.

Martyn, 31, was sidelined for Australia's last six tests against the West Indies in the Caribbean and Bangladesh at home with a right broken finger sustained during the World Cup win in South Africa.

While Hayden rode his luck to reach his half century in nearly three hours, Martyn hit three fours in his first four scoring shots and forced medium paceman Sean Ervine out of the attack.

He cover drove offspinner Trevor Gripper for four to reach his half century, and six balls later cut the bowler to Craig Wishart at slip.

Ervine grabbed the wickets of Langer and Ponting before and after lunch to return the figures of 2-48 from 14 overs.

After Langer had played on to Ervine in the first hour of the day, Ponting, who hit six fours, was trapped leg before wicket just 11 minutes after lunch.

Hayden, who narrowly escaped being run out, and then bowled, hit leftarm spinner Ray Price over the mid-on fielder for his seventh four to each his 11th half century in his 45th test.

It is the first test between the teams in Australia. The sides met once before when Australia won by 10 wickets in Harare in October 1999 -- the first of its record 16 wins in a row under skipper Steve Waugh.

Both teams wore black armbands to commemorate last year's terrorist bombing in Bali, Indonesia, which killed 202 people.

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