Langer gets some form in drawn match
Justin Langer on the attack for Western Australia
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Western Australia 273 and 265 (Langer 96, Hussey 57) drew with Victoria 355 and 1 for 35
Victoria and Western Australia were left cursing the rain after their Pura Cup match ended in a draw at the Junction Oval. Victoria were 1 for 35 chasing 184 in their second innings when played was called off after a 90-minute rain break.
Victoria scored two first-innings points, but Darren Berry, their captain, said his side targetted this as a six-point game, and had been vindicated for yesterday's late declaration. Justin Langer, the Western Australian captain, also had cause to feel hollow, given that the three previous innings in this match had featured big batting collapses and the murky conditions could well have favoured WA's attack late today.
"It's frustrating because our bowlers did a very good job in this match. Obviously Brad Hodge followed it up with a hundred," Berry said. "We were in a six-point position, very much so."
Victoria are joint third with eight points, but an outright win would have put them in joint second with 12. Western Australia have no points from three games.
"We obviously didn't bat as well as we would have liked. Again we lost eight for not many," Langer said of the Western Australian collapse. He also backed Berry's decision to keep batting late yesterday after taking first-innings points, saying he would have done the same.
WA resumed on 0 for 100 this morning after Victoria declared at 9 for 355 in reply to 273. It was 2 for 211 before Langer fell for 96 before lunch and the innings never recovered. Mick Lewis, the Man of the Match, and Mathew Inness tore through Western Australia after lunch, snaring 6 for 29 between them in 12.2 overs. Lewis finished with 5 for 58, giving him six wickets for the game, while Inness returned figures of 3 for 23.
Mike Hussey (57) and Chris Rogers (52) were the only other Western Australian batsmen to reach 20.
While disappointed not to score more runs, Langer was pleased with his touch ahead of next month's first Test against India. "It was great to face left-armers, who the Indians are going to have. It was great to face [Cameron] White, who is very similar to [Anil] Kumble, I think.
"I would have liked to get more runs so we could have set Victorians more runs. That's where I was disappointed about not getting a hundred."
Only 44 minutes' play was possible in the Victorian second innings, with Hodge (20) and Matthew Mott (12) seeing the day through after Matthew Elliott was run out for 3 off a suicidal single.
Langer and Berry heaped praise on Lewis, who missed the start of the season with a hamstring injury. "It was like a heavyweight boxing fight last night. He's just run in hard, hit the deck hard and hit me more times than I've been hit for a long time," Langer said. "For him to do that on a flat, slow wicket ... it's great credit to him."
Berry thought Lewis should press for Australia A selection if he maintains his form from the last fortnight. But Lewis will miss next week's three-day tour match against India because of general soreness.
Berry, who slightly aggravated a broken finger in this match, Allan Wise and Bryce McGain will also drop out of the 12 which played against Western Australia. Ian Harvey, fast bowler Brett Harrop, wicketkeeper Peter Roach and Brendan Joseland will take their places.