Langer looking forward for India series
Published: Thursday, November 6, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
Victoria end Sheffield Shield drought
Sydney: Australian Test opener Justin Langer recaptured his form with an unconquered 81 here on the third day of a four-day Sheffield Shield clash against New South Wales. Brimming with renewed confidence after a sequence of low scores, the little left- hander showed he is ready to partner the prolific Matthew Hayden at the top of the Australian order when Steve Waugh's men lock horns with India in a four-Test series starting early next month. Langer held center stage as Western Australia reached 154 for one wicket in their second innings to lead by 94 with a day left. Langer took over after New South Wales claimed first innings points by making 436 for a 60-run advantage. Another Test left-hander, Simon Katich, completed an unbeaten 182 in the New South Wales innings. Katich, who transferred to the east coast from Western Australia just over a year ago, was superb in his 425-minute, 326-ball stay. He punched 23 fours and a six. Langer and his opening partner, Mike Hussey, cracked 134 in their opening stand, with Hussey making 53 before falling late in the day. Langer's previous highest score in six innings this season for Australia and Western Australia had been 26 in the first Test against Zimbabwe in Perth. Another Western Australian-born batsman snatched the limelight in Hobart, where David Fitzgerald smacked an unbeaten 202 for South Australia in their drawn match with Tasmania. Fitzgerald and Greg Blewett (171) forged an exhilarating partnership of 281 as South Australia piled on 482 for six wickets in their second innings after they had trailed by 184 runs on the first innings.