The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Langer, Ponting put Aussies in control
- FIRST TEST l Twin centuries frustrate Windies on lifeless track

Georgetown: Justin Langer and the in-form Ricky Ponting hit centuries against the West Indies on Friday as Australia tightened their grip on the first Test.

Australia were 421 for six an hour-and-a-half after tea. Adam Gilchrist was batting on 50 with Andy Bichel on 32.

They put on 248 runs for the second wicket as the touring side reached 348 for four at tea on the second day, 111 runs ahead.

The pair, who had resumed on 120 for one, finally fell to fast bowler Vasbert Drakes. He also removed Darren Lehmann as the home side struggled to stay in the game. Captain Steve Waugh was unbeaten on 25 at the tea break with Adam Gilchrist on 14.

Langer completed his 14th Test hundred with a quick single. He faced 159 balls and hit one six and 14 fours. Ponting, establishing himself as the most formidable No. 3 in the world, completed his 15th Test hundred in the last over before the break with a lofted on-drive for four. It was his fourth hundred in his last ten Test innings and followed his match-winning 140 not out in last monthís World Cup final against India.

Australia had only two scares as the West Indies bowlers toiled on a hard, dry wicket. Ponting, who hit ten fours in his first 50, was lucky to escape being run out when he hesitated over a quick single only for fielder Devon Smith to miss the stumps.

Langer escaped on 116 when he got an outside edge to Pedro Collins but stand-in wicketkeeper Wavell Hinds ó Ridley Jacobs hurt a hamstring while batting Thursday ó reacted too slowly.

Australia will go back to the top of the world Test standings ahead of South Africa if they win the four-Test series.

On Thursday, West Indies left-hander Shivnarine Chanderpaul smashed a 70-ball century. Chanderpaul dominated the home teamís effort after it chose to bat on a lifeless pitch and lightning-fast outfield.

The 28-year-old gave impetus to the innings after the rampant Australians reduced the score to 53 for five half-an-hour before lunch. Chanderpaulís counterattack came after the break off 70 balls, with 15 fours and two sixes in 101 minutes. It was his seventh Test century and his first against Australia.

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