December 27, 2002

Langer on verge of second double century

MELBOURNE, Dec 27 AAP - Australian opener Justin Langer was nearing his second Test double century at lunch here today on day two of the fourth Ashes Test against England at the MCG.

But captain Steve Waugh fell for 77, missing the chance to equal Sir Don Bradman's record for the most centuries by an Australian, as their side reached 4-445 at the break.

Langer was 191 and Test debutant Martin Love had made 21.

Australia resumed at 3-356 and the batsmen continued to have little trouble.

English medium pacer Craig White had Waugh caught behind at noon, with the captain unwilling to walk after he gave a faint edge to a ball outside off stump.

Waugh's innings, which featured 15 fours, undoubtedly dampened some of the speculation about his playing future.

But he would probably have removed any doubt had he equalled Bradman's mark of 29 tons.

He put on 129 for the fourth wicket with Langer, who has a highest Test score of 223.

Love showed few nerves in his start to Test cricket and had put on 51 with Langer.