WA in control against Redbacks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

WA in control against Redbacks

By Sam Lienert 21/12/2002 06:23:52 AM Comments (0)

Justin Langer finally capitalised on what he believes is his career-best form to score his first first-class century of the season, handing Western Australia first innings points and control of its Pura Cup match against South Australia at Adelaide Oval.

At the end of day two, the Warriors were 2-299 in their first innings, with Murray Goodwin on 108 and Mike Hussey on nine, holding a first innings lead of 73 after SA was dismissed for 226 in its first innings on day one.

The highlight of the day was WA skipper and Australian Test opener Langer's 164, which included 16 fours and two sixes from 263 balls, and ensures he will head into the fourth Ashes Test, starting at the MCG on Thursday, in absolute top form.

While Langer's performances have been overshadowed by his run-guzzling Test opening partner Matthew Hayden this summer, he said he had been batting better than ever, despite failing to notch a hundred until Friday.

"I've got a lot of starts and I've been batting probably as well as I have in my whole career," Langer told reporters.

"I said a number of times for the last three or four weeks 'someone's going to pay soon' because I felt like I was due for a really big score.

"Batting's about getting momentum and it doesn't matter whether you play in a grade game, a Pura Cup game, or a one-day game, if you're scoring runs the momentum usually goes with you, so I'll be looking to take that momentum into Boxing Day."

Langer and Goodwin shared a 247-run second-wicket stand, dominated by Langer, which carried WA past SA's total and was only one run short of the highest second-wicket partnership for WA against SA, scored by Greg Shipperd and Mike Veletta here in 1984/85.

It was eventually broken by Paul Rofe in the third over with the second new ball, when Langer got a thin inside edge to keeper Shane Deitz with the total on 267.

But by then WA was in command, and Langer said he expected SA would find it difficult to get back into the match on a pitch that is likely to get tougher to bat on.

He said young left arm spinner Beau Casson, who took six wickets in the first innings in just his second first-class match, was likely to pose an even bigger threat in the second innings.

"We're in a great position now, I imagine it's going to get harder and harder to bat on," Langer said.

"We saw it spin in the first innings, so young Beau Casson will be confident and for our other guys it will be a bit up and down, it will be tough to bat on."

In the one bright spot for the Redbacks, 19-year-old debutant paceman Shaun Tait showed promise and captured the wicket of WA opener Chris Rogers for six in the 10th over of the day.

The fiery teenager also struck Langer on the shoulder with a short ball during his opening spell.

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