Vodafone Challenge: Somerset v Australians at Taunton, 13-16 Jul 2001
Mark Easterbrook

Australians 2nd innings: Lunch - Day 3, Tea - Day 3,
Somerset 2nd innings: Stumps- Day 3,
Live Reports from previous days


Damien Martyn continued his golden run of form as Australia left Somerset with an unlikely 417 for victory in the Vodafone Challenge match at Taunton.

Martyn, dropped on nought by Jason Kerr at gully, progressed without further trouble to an unbeaten 176 in a total of 335-4 declared.

It was his fifth century of the tour, one of which came in the limited-overs friendly with Northants, ­and his 231-ball innings included 25 fours.

Guest player Shoaib Akhtar was comfortably the most potent of the home side's attack, but he only bowled seven overs before departing the field with cramp in both legs.

Akhtar's new ball burst of 6-2-9-2 had removed Simon Katich, caught behind by Rob Turner for three, and Justin Langer, lbw for ten.

But Martyn and Wade Seccombe instigated a recovery from 15-2 with a third-wicket stand of 156 and then Ashley Noffke and Mark Waugh shared partnerships of 42 and 142 with Martyn.

Left-arm spinner Ian Blackwell claimed the other two wickets to fall when he had Seccombe caught by Piran Holloway at mid-wicket for 76 and took a return catch to dismiss Noffke for 22.

Somerset were soon in trouble when they batted again as Piran Holloway departed for seven to a fine catch by acting captain Ricky Ponting at third slip, from paceman Noffke.

But Aamir Sohail and Mike Burns then put on 45 as Somerset closed the day on 52-1, requiring a further 365 to win.

Off the field, Australia have injury worries about openers Michael Slater and Matthew Hayden and pace ace Brett Lee ahead of Thursday's Second Ashes Test at Lord's.

Neither Slater, who has a bruised left wrist after being struck by an Akhtar delivery, nor Hayden, whose right knee locked while fielding on Saturday, played any part in today's proceedings.

Australia expect both to be ready for the Test, but there is a bit more concern about Lee's injured ribs which forced his late withdrawal from this match.


Damien Martyn completed his fifth century of the Ashes tour as Australia piled on the runs in the Vodafone Challenge match with Somerset at Taunton.

Martyn was unbeaten on 122 in a tea score of 254-4, which was his fourth first-class hundred this summer to go alongside the one he scored against Northants in a one-day warm up for the NatWest Series.

Australia are now 335 ahead and, even with Michael Slater and Matthew Hayden not expected to bat due to injuries, they are well in command of the game.

Slater has his left wrist strapped after being struck by a Shoaib Akhtar delivery on Friday, while Hayden felt his right knee lock while fielding on Saturday.

Pace bowler Brett Lee, who was a late withdrawal from this game because of a rib injury, is another concern ahead of the Second Test with England at Lord's on Thursday.

Akhtar's burst of 6-2-9-2 with the new ball accounted for Simon Katich, caught behind by Rob Turner, and Justin Langer, who fell lbw.

But the Pakistan paceman, who is guesting for Somerset in this game, stayed off the field between lunch and tea.

Martyn was dropped on nought by Jason Kerr at gully, off Jamie Grove, and it proved a costly error as he reached his century from 149 balls with 14 fours.

Reserve wicket-keeper Wade Seccombe helped him add 156 for the third wicket before he mistimed a sweep at Ian Blackwell's left-arm spin and gave a catch to Piran Holloway at mid-wicket for 76.

Ashley Noffke then put on 42 with Martyn before he was caught and bowled by Blackwell for 22.

At tea, Martyn was on 122 and Mark Waugh on 14.


Damien Martyn and Wade Seccombe came to the Australians' rescue after a torrid start to the third day of the Vodafone Challenge match at Taunton.

When Seccombe joined Martyn at the crease, the tourists were 15-2 in the seventh over and Martyn had been dropped on nought by Jason Kerr in the gully off Jamie Grove.

But by lunch they had advanced the total to 113-2 from 32 overs and, with an overall lead of 194, the Australians are well in command of the four-day contest.

The tourists were forced to rejig their batting line-up because of injury concerns to Michael Slater and Matthew Hayden ahead of the Second Ashes Test with England, starting at Lord's on Thursday.

Slater has had his left wrist strapped after being hit by a short-pitched delivery from Pakistan paceman Shoaib Akhtar on Friday, while Hayden felt his knee lock during fielding on Saturday.

A further worry for Australia came in the seventh over when Justin Langer, a first innings century maker, was struck on the hand by Akhtar during a hostile opening spell which saw him return figures of 6-2-9-2. Langer decided to bat on, but was then dismissed next ball as Akhtar had him lbw for ten.

Akhtar had also enjoyed success in the fifth over of the day when Simon Katich gave a defensive edge to wicket-keeper Rob Turner to depart for three.

Martyn and Seccombe turned things round with some assured batting and Martyn reached his fifty shortly before lunch with a boundary through extra cover off Keith Parsons. It came from 65 deliveries and contained eight fours. At the interval, Martyn was on 53 and Seccombe had reached 42.

© CricInfo

Date-stamped : 15 Jul2001 - 22:38