Centuries break Aussies drought - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Centuries break Aussies drought

By Michael Donaldson 11/03/2004 11:15:51 PM Comments (0)

Damien Martyn broke his drought while runs and tears poured out of Darren Lehmann on an emotional afternoon in Galle.

The two men scored deeply meaningful but contrasting centuries as Australia took charge of the first cricket Test against Sri Lanka, declaring at 8-512 to set Sri Lanka 352 to win the match.

At stumps on day four, Sri Lanka was 0-3 needing another 349.

Lehmann - his life fractured by the death of his good friend David Hookes two months ago - looked to the heavens and shed tears of joy and grief after he made his century.

He was greeted mid-pitch by Martyn, who moments earlier had scored a redemptive century of his own, and the big South Australian buried his bald head in Martyn's shoulder as he tried to compose himself and continue batting for his country.

Martyn, under scrutiny all summer as runs failed to materialise, had gone more than two years and 16 Tests without a Test century.

He found added pressure on this tour as he became one of the senior batsmen following the retirement of Steve Waugh. He vowed before the game to take a more responsible attitude to run-scoring and delivered on that promise with a gritty century from his often pretty bat.

In his 40th Test, he played easily his most determined innings to post his century in five hours off 230 balls with 10 fours.

Martyn was ecstatic after sprinting a single to reach three figures and was embraced in a big hug by Lehmann, who reached his century three balls later.

Martyn finished with 110, caught close in off the bowling of Muttiah Muralitharan after he and Lehmann put on 206 for the fourth wicket.

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