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March 11, 2004
Darren Lehmann and Damien Martyn struck contrasting centuries and put Australia in complete command at the end of the fourth day at Galle. This is what they had to say after the day's play:
On his century today: Really satisfied as this was tough for us and we needed to get a big lead so we could push on for a result tomorrow. It went better than planned and we ended up with a 350-run lead and a chance to bowl them out tomorrow.
On this century coming soon after the death of his close friend, David Hookes: You think about it a lot. I think about it everyday still. It comes in your head at certain times but not when you are batting. When I started to come close to hundred it started to though. He [David Hookes] would have been proud of it and it is good to get back and get some runs. Probably with all the emotion that has gone in the last five months, yes. Your first Test match hundred is always special and that was made in a pressure situation but this one certainly gives me a lot of satisfaction for personal reasons.
On Damien Martyn's effort: I was really happy for him because he has been under a lot of pressure for not making a test century for 20-odd months. So I said well done and well played but when I passed mine I just needed a big hug.
On the secret of handling Muttiah Muralitharan: Feeling confident and not putting myself under any pressure. I am just playing the game for what it is - a game. I go out to enjoy it and hopefully do well. Second innings I though we played him pretty well. He got some wickets in the end when we were slogging but we played him better in the second innings than the first. Hopefully we have worked out some better plans to play him. There is no point just hanging around because at some point you are going to get a good ball so you might as well put some pressure on the bowler.
On his hundred coming under tremendous pressure: From a team's point of view the last two days have been fantastic. It wasn't on my mind in the sense that I came into the series focusing on that. I thought I had been batting well and I just wanted to bat well in this series and take on the responsibility of batting at number four When you get a hundred though it is a relief as you have to work so hard,especially in these conditions.
On the particularly dogged nature of his innings: Subcontinent is the toughest conditions to bat in and I think I faced 250 balls which is probably the longest. And it is great to know that you can do it in these conditions. Its something you can tuck away and say I have done and use it to go forward.
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