Langer in doubt, Aussies in Test trouble - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Langer in doubt, Aussies in Test trouble

By Greg Buckle 04/04/2006 06:07:38 AM Comments (0)

Australia needs another 44 runs to complete a 3-0 sweep of the Test series against South Africa but may have to do it without Justin Langer who is unlikely to bat because of concussion.

The tough little West Australian, playing his 100th Test, was felled by a Makhaya Ntini bouncer on the first ball of Australia's first innings.

Langer, 35, was unable to open the innings, a role filled ably by Mike Hussey who made 89 in Australia's 6-248.

Set 292 for victory, Australia suffered a late collapse, losing 4-39 shortly before stumps on the fourth day of the third and final Test at the Wanderers.

"He (Langer) wasn't going to bat tonight if it came down to that," Hussey said.

"I'm not sure how he will pull up tomorrow.

"As we all know, he's a pretty tough sort of character."

Hussey and Damien Martyn (93 not out) put an injury-depleted Australia within sight of victory with a 165-run partnership for the third wicket.

The tourists reached 2-54 at lunch with Matthew Hayden (0) and Ricky Ponting (20) already back in the pavilion.

Hussey was lucky to escape two confident lbw shouts on 0 and 5.

The reliable West Australian, who made 73 in the first innings, was lbw to left-arm spinner Nicky Boje at 3-198, falling 11 runs short of his fourth hundred in nine Tests.

"It was disappointing to get out at that time because we sort of just needed another 50 partnership and probably the game would have been beyond doubt," Hussey said.

"It was tough all day. I've definitely had my fair share of luck and you've got to take it really."

Hussey's dismissal triggered a middle-order collapse of 4-39 with one-day specialist Andrew Symonds (29), Adam Gilchrist (0) and Shane Warne (3) falling in quick succession.

Brett Lee was unbeaten on nine when bad light stopped play at 5.13pm with 9.3 overs remaining.

Australia is facing an injury crisis on three fronts.

Apart from Langer, Michael Kasprowicz (back) is expected to bat tomorrow but the Queensland fast bowler and Langer are both in doubt for the first Test in Bangladesh starting on Sunday in Dhaka.

Reserve paceman Shaun Tait will be sent home tomorrow because of a back injury and has already been ruled out of the Bangladesh tour.

Paceman Makhaya Ntini grabbed 3-60 to go with his six wickets in the first innings.

The Wanderers pitch is favouring seam bowling but South Africa is hampered by the loss of fast bowler Andre Nel who has been off the field with a stomach complaint.

South Africa resumed on 8-250 and lasted only 15 balls with Brett Lee (3-57) removing Mark Boucher for 63 and Ntini for a duck.

Stuart Clark took 4-64 and carried the pace attack in the absence of Kasprowicz while Shane Warne took three wickets.

Australia leads the three-match series 2-0.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news