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Last Updated: Friday, 10 October, 2003, 15:50 GMT 16:50 UK
Hayden's feat was awesome
Justin Langer
By Justin Langer
Australia Test batsman and Matthew Hayden's best friend

Awesome is a word which sums up Matthew Hayden's world record innings perfectly.

It was weird because I was interviewed after the first day's play by a local television station in Perth and I said then I thought we were about to witness something special from Matt - and so it proved.

Up until he scored 100, Matt was quite contained and disciplined.

But after that he just let rip with the bat and it was unbelievable to watch.

Matthew Hayden

His concentration is absolutely magnificent - like a fighter pilot's.

Matt has one of the highest conversion rates from fifties to 100s in the game.

He has worked for years on his technique and I would say it is almost perfect.

Matt stands so still at the crease yet he picks up the ball so quickly.

He always sticks to the same process and says if he gets the process right the outcome will look after itself.

Matt is extremely physically fit and strong which was a great asset to have in such a long innings - and he was bludgeoning sixes for fun.

Matt admitted afterwards there were a couple of overs when he was a bit loose - and that was after he had just passed the Australian record of 334 held by Sir Donald Bradman and Mark Taylor.

438 balls
38 fours
11 sixes
622 mins

He looked as though he was trying to hit every ball for six so Steve Waugh sent the 12th man out with a pair of gloves to make an excuse to calm Matt down - because we didn't want him to throw his wicket away so close to the world record!

The atmosphere in the dressing room when he achieved the feat was electric - it was as though we had won a Test match.

Everyone was so excited for Matt for achieving an incredible piece of history and we were all proud of him.

Afterwards we had a few beers in the dressing room - and watched Australia in the opening rugby World Cup game - but I don't think Matt's achievement will really sink in for a few days.

He will certainly be feeling it physically though and was having a massage and a two-hour bath to alleviate the soreness.

But it will be a nice discomfort to have.

Before each day's play, Matt has been coming over to my house and we have been going for a swim in the ocean.

It will not surprise me if he turns up on Saturday for a swim despite how sore he will feel.

I've got the whole team coming for dinner on Saturday so let's hope we can take lots of Zimbabwe wickets - then we can celebrate Matt's feat properly.

Hayden's team-mate Justin Langer
"I had a feeling we were going to witness something special"

Record breaker Matthew Hayden
"I just tried to keep things as simple as possible"

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