Hayden, MacGill shine despite rain - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hayden, MacGill shine despite rain

By Greg Buckle 26/10/2007 07:29:07 PM Comments (0)

Queensland's Matthew Hayden walked out to bat at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday in a Pura Cup match that was so quiet he could hear his pads squeaking.

The 783 spectators provided a massive change to the frenzied crowds which confronted the Australian side at venues around India in this month's one-day series.

But the ultra-professional Hayden settled back into the four-day game with an unbeaten 103, his 25th Pura Cup hundred, in his side's 2-192 at stumps on the first day's play against NSW.

"You couldn't get a more stark contrast between what we've had in the last week-and-a-half, packed stadiums to where you can hear a pin drop," Hayden said.

"The first time I recognised that was when I was walking out and I could hear my pads squeaking. I thought, gee, there's not much noise around.

"I thought I was going to have to get some Vaseline just to stop the squeaking."

The 159-ball hundred was an early birthday present for Hayden, who turns 36 on Monday.

He will resume on Saturday with captain Jimmy Maher who is unbeaten on 22. Only 62 overs of play were possible because of persistent showers.

Hayden and his Test team-mates have just one Pura Cup round of matches to prepare for next month's two matches against Sri Lanka.

It's the first Test series for Ricky Ponting's world champions since completing their 5-0 Ashes sweep in January.

But the focused Hayden made light work of the changeover.

"I was just enjoying my batting today and time seemed to go really quickly," said Hayden, who felt the adjustment to four-day cricket from one-dayers was possibly harder on the NSW and Australian quicks Brett Lee (0-60) and Stuart Clark (0-49).

"It was a good workout for Brett and Sarf (Clark) as well. They probably bowled a fraction short if anything," Hayden said.

"The initial stage is always the hardest. Once a batter's in, then it becomes increasingly easier and your tempo just goes with the bowling tempo.

"Whereas bowlers have to bowl back-to-back spells and come back in later in the day.

"I guess they are adjustments they'll have to make over the coming weeks."

Hayden, who was dropped at point on 92 off the bowling of Lee, reached his century with an edge through the slips cordon as Lee again threw his head back in frustration.

The left-hander's hundred took just over four hours with 11 fours.

Hayden had another life on 33 when Lee missed a run-out opportunity.

NSW leg-spinner Stuart MacGill did enough to prove he had recovered from a knee injury, taking 1-38 from 11 overs to show national selector Jamie Cox he was ready for the Gabba Test starting on November 8.

MacGill, who dismissed Clinton Perren caught and bowled for 49, mixed some lovely flight with the occasional full toss.

Hayden said it was a tough assignment for the leggie.

"It's hard to really make an assessment," Hayden said.

"It was a first-day wicket remember and they were greasy sort of conditions. We'll see more as the game goes on."

Nathan Bracken (1-21 off 13 overs) removed opener Ryan Broad for six before Hayden and Perren added 129.

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