Surrey v Somerset, Guildford, 2nd day July 20, 2006

Langer rewrites the record books

Cricinfo staff

Justin Langer in record-breaking mood at Guildford © Martin Williamson
Justin Langer's marathon innings for Somerset against Surrey at Guildford finally ended when he lofted Ian Salisbury to Neil Saker in front of the press tent at long-on. Langer had made 342 off 416 balls in a stay of ten hours and 18 minutes. In all, he hit 43 fours and two sixes.

Langer resumed this morning on 234, but found scoring harder than he had done on the first day. It might have been that batting for six hours in blistering heat yesterday had sapped him of energy, or that the bowlers were invigorated by a light breeze today, but while yesterday he unleashed a string of well-timed drives and sweeps, today was more laboured.

He had already broken the record for the highest innings at Guildford, and this morning he passed Viv Richards' record for the highest score for Somerset (322). "Richards probably got his in about three hours, though," Langer said later. "It took me 10 hours, that's the difference."

"My greatest challenge is mastering concentration," he explained. "It is a matter of focussing and paying attention to the next ball. That way you take pressure off yourself, because you're only having to concentrate for very short periods."

He was within one shot of Charlie McCartney's 345 - the highest by an Australian in England - when he fell. It is the seventh biggest innings in the County Championship.