Langer's day puts Australia in control - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Langer's day puts Australia in control

By Adam Cooper 16/12/2004 10:32:14 PM Comments (0)

Opener Justin Langer scored one of his most important centuries for Australia - and continued his rise among cricket's elite - by putting the home side in control over Pakistan on day one of the first Test at the WACA Ground.

Langer, the one-time scrapper now entrenched in the game's club of silvertails, batted for six-and-a-half hours to finish on 181 not out as Australia reached 8-357 at stumps when it could have been all out before tea.

A year after Matthew Hayden made the Perth Test his own, his opening partner did the same by smashing his 21st Test century, taking the lead on the list of run-scorers in the 2004 calender year and climbing up his country's run-getting leaderboard.

More accolades await the 34-year-old, who can become just the 13th player in Test history - only the third Australian behind Don Bradman and Greg Chappell - to score four or more double centuries, and make double tons in successive Tests after 215 against New Zealand in Adelaide.

He is also poised to become the first Australian opener to carry his bat since Mark Taylor defied South Africa's attack in 1997-98.

Langer's knock could not have come at a better time.

He survived a difficult legside chance when on 13, but was the anchor in Australia's disastrous first session - when Pakistan pacemen Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Sami turned the home side's top order to rubble.

At 5-78, Pakistan was one wicket away from landing a knock-out blow.

But as Shoaib and Sami tired, Langer and Adam Gilchrist, with a rapid 69, stole the momentum.

The pair put on 152 in a stand reminiscent of the 238-run partnership they scored in Hobart five years ago, to beat Pakistan the last time they toured.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

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