February 19, 2001

Langer hits century as Australians draw first game

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The first warm up game of the Australian tour against India A ended in a tame draw at the Vidarbha Cricket Association stadium in Nagpur on Monday. The match was called off by both skippers after 12.1 mandatory overs were bowled with the Australians on 365/9 from 95.1 overs.

The three day match saw 1024 runs scored on a good batting pitch. As expected, 21 off the 29 wickets to fall in the match were taken by spinners. Rahul Sanghvi took five in Australia's first innings, Miller contributed with six in the India A innings and in the Australian second innings, eight of the nine wickets went to the spinners.

The fact that spinners dominated the proceedings on both sides and even the tailenders batted away to glory speaks volumes on the condition of the Nagpur wicket.

Resuming at 39 for one, the Australians batted confidently. The best batting came from Justin Langer who got a hundred. Langer took 52 minutes to open his account, after which he went about plundering runs all around the ground. He scored 115 off 157 balls with 17 hits to the fence and two over it. Ricky Ponting reached his second half-century of the match. He scored 68 off 95 balls with ten boundaries and one six. Ponting and Langer added 149 runs off 22.2 overs for the fourth wicket.

On Sunday, Damien Martyn was off the field for well over 200 minutes. He was not allowed to bat until the fifth Australian wicket fell. Mark Waugh and Shane Warne substituted for him on Sunday. He scored a halfcentury in the last session of the day before he was bowled round his legs by Hemang Badani. Martyn's 53 was compiled off 81 balls with nine boundaries.

Balaji Rao picked up three for 100 and Harbajan Singh bagged three for 81. Laxman and Badani picked up a wicket each. Play was called off after Damien Fleming was dismissed. Fleming was caught by Laxman at slip off a wide delivery sent down by Balaji Rao.

The Australians fly to Mumbai tonight and will be playing the second warmup game against the Ranji Trophy champions Mumbai at the CCI from February 22.