Langer declaration sets up WACA chase - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Langer declaration sets up WACA chase

24/10/2006 09:59:55 PM Comments (0)

A negotiated declaration by Western Australian captain Justin Langer has breathed new life into the Pura Cup clash with Tasmania at the WACA Ground.

When the Warriors left the field at tea at 5-353, still 200 runs behind the Tigers' first innings total of 7-553, it seemed the only interest in the game was how many runs Langer, on 188 not out, would get and whether WA could grab first innings points.

However, Langer engaged Tasmanian skipper Dan Marsh during the break and declared WA's innings closed, well behind the follow-on target, just moments before the players were due back on the field.

"I was padded up with five minutes to go and I heard Tassie might be interested in making a game of it," Langer said.

"When he (Daniel Marsh) mentioned it, I said 'are you sure if I declare now you won't make us follow-on again'.

"I think it is great for cricket."

Langer said a target wouldn't be easy to chase.

"The wicket is getting a lot slower, so we are going to have to bat really well to get the runs," he said.

The Tigers certainly took up the challenge of scoring quick runs in their second innings, Michael Bevan, in particular, taking the long handle to the WA bowlers in making 46.

The veteran left-hander only faced 40 balls, hitting eight fours and a six.

At stumps, the Tigers were 5-149 in their second innings, an overall lead of 349, with George Bailey on nine and Sean Clingeleffer on one.

Youngster Tim Paine, who scored his maiden first-class century in the first innings, completed a fine match with 56, while rookie WA spinner Aaron Heal had 3-36, after claiming five wickets in the first Tasmanian innings.

The Tasmanians are likely to declare again early on Wednesday and set the Warriors a target in excess of 400 at around five runs per over.

Langer had earlier sent a message to those predicting the imminent demise of his Test career with a defiant century.

The diminutive left-hander reached his century in 184 minutes, from 140 balls and with 20 fours.

With WACA president and former fast bowling legend Dennis Lillee voicing his concerns about the advanced age of many of Australia's top order batsmen ahead of the Ashes series in the local press this week, Langer clearly felt he had a point to prove.

He leapt high in the air and pumped his fist as he reached three figures.

WA had looked on target for first innings points at 2-258, but then lost 3-34 as the Tasmanians hit back after lunch.

Marcus North almost inexplicably fell for 37 to the spin of Dan Marsh, before Brett Geeves rocked the Warriors with two wickets in one over to change the complexion of the match.

Adam Voges didn't look comfortable and made just four, with Sean Ervine falling to Geeves for the same score.

At 5-292, the Warriors were in trouble, but Langer and Ronchi steadied the ship before tea, with the latter taking the attack back up to the Tigers.

Ronchi hit 30 runs in the space of two overs, and was 40 not out after just 18 balls.

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