Australia v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Cairns, 2nd day

Australia stumble to a big total

Christian Ryan

July 10, 2004

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Australia 2 for 370 (Langer 162,Martyn 97,Lehmann 50,Chandana 4-94) v Sri Lanka Live scorecard

Darren Lehmann batted busily and inventively for his 50 this morning © Getty Images

After the haymaking indulgences of yesterday, this second day at Cairns began with a dull throb. It is often the way of mornings after. Australia's batsmen set purposefully about building an imposing total; Sri Lanka's bowlers sought scratchily to claw back some dignity. By lunch 104 runs had been added and five wickets fiddled out, suggesting the visitors had been significantly more successful in achieving their objectives.

In fact, Sri Lanka sloped off at the interval with considerable momentum, having nailed the last four Australian wickets for 20 runs. All four went to Upul Chandana, the legspinner, who was ignored for the first half of yesterday but flighted the ball intelligently today. He was helped out by some needlessly reckless shotmaking.

Damien Martyn prodded tentatively forward on 97, made no concerted attempt to hit the ball and was struck on the front pad. Despite the look of derision he gave Aleem Dar, the Pakistan umpire, as he walked off, he appeared cosily leg-before. Simon Katich, a normally conservative beginner, was bowled for 1, audaciously pulling at and missing a short floater from Chandana.

Darren Lehmann, batting busily and inventively for 50, also departed in uncharacteristic fashion. He slogged at yet another well-flighted delivery from Chandana, didn't quite time it, and was caught metres short of the sightscreen by Kumar Sangakkara. Shane Warne fell soon after for 2, slashing hypnotically and edging to Thilan Samaraweera in the slips. It seemed a terrible waste of resources.

Justin Langer was first out for 162, wafting irritably at a wide ball from Lasith Malinga and edging high to Mahela Jayawardene at slip. He had eked out only three runs this morning and failed to relocate his casual fluency of yesterday.

Martyn, by contrast, picked up precisely where he left off, all straight grace and elegance. Upon entering the nineties he received a thorough workout from a rejuvenated Nuwan Zoysa, who had Martyn playing and missing, inside-edging and repeatedly squared up. Martyn was tentative for a while, then seemed almost to drift off into a slumber. The Australians can safely be expected to wake up again sometime this afternoon.

Christian Ryan is the editor of Wisden Cricinfo in Australia

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Christian Ryan Christian Ryan lives in Melbourne, writes and edits, was once the editor of The Monthly magazine and Wisden Australia, and now bowls low-grade, high-bouncing legbreaks with renewed zeal in recognition of Stuart MacGill's retirement and the selection opportunities this presents. He is the author of Golden Boy: Kim Hughes and the Bad Old Days of Australian Cricket and Australia: Story of a Cricket Country
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