The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Into three figures at 33

Port-of-Spain: Australian batsman Darren Lehmann has expressed his delight on Saturday at scoring a maiden Test century at the age of thirty-three.

Lehmann, who has often been criticised for not fulfilling his early potential, shared a 315 partnership with Ricky Ponting, the best-ever third wicket stand for Australia in a Test match, as they reached 391 for three on the first day of the second Test against the West Indies.

“It’s been a long time coming, it has to be said, and I’m very happy,” the left-hander told reporters after making 160.

“A lot of things have happened over the past few years and I’m grateful to all the people who’ve supported me,” said Lehmann, who is playing his tenth Test and began the series with an average of less than 30.

“Everybody has been very supportive and the selectors have been great,” he added.

Lehmann, who regained his place in the recent Ashes series against England after three years on the sideliners, was close to a century earlier in his career when he made 98 against Pakistan in Rawalpindi.

Ponting, who made an unbeaten 146 as he hit a century for the second successive Test, said: “It was great for him, especially after he was so close before. It’s a huge barrier for him to cross and he batted beautifully.”

Ponting added that the wicket helped the batsmen enormously. “It’s mainly the wicket,” he said.

“The wicket has been particularly flat, it hasn’t been much help to for anyone. When you have the chance to bat on these wickets, you have to make the most of it.”

While Lehmann and Ponting milked the applause, the West Indies were under fire after picking only three front-line bowlers, all of them fast, on a slow pitch.

Lehmann hinted that they could regret the decision later in the Test. “Hopefully the pitch will deteriorate and take spin, it looks like it’s going to spin,” he said. (Reuters)

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