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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 July 2006, 18:27 GMT 19:27 UK
Langer makes history for Somerset
County Championship D2, Guildford (stumps, day two)
Somerset 688-8 dec v Surrey 173-2

Langer has been hugely successful in his brief spell at Somerset
My greatest challenge is to master concentration - that's what I was thrilled about here

Langer on his triple century

Justin Langer broke Viv Richards' Somerset record score when he made 342 against Surrey at Guildford in the County Championship on Thursday.

Australia opener Langer began the day on his overnight 234 and after more than 10 hours at the crease, was eventually caught at long-on.

It may be the only first-class match Langer ever plays for the club as he is due to return to Perth shortly.

It was his first triple-century as Somerset declared on 688-8.

In all the 35-year-old left-hander faced 416 balls with two sixes and 43 fours after passing Richards' 322, Somerset's previous highest individual score.

"Viv Richards probably got his in about three hours and it took me 10 - that's the difference," said Langer.

He was just a boundary away from beating Charlie McCartney's 345 for the Australians against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge in 1921, the record score by an Australian in England, when he fell to Ian Salisbury.

But it was still the 10th highest score in all first-class cricket in England and Somerset's score was the second best total in their history.

In reply, Surrey were 173-2 at stumps, with Mark Ramprakash on 66.

But all the attention was on Langer, who played down his achievement at the close of play and thanked Somerset for giving him the chance of some match practice ahead of the Ashes series this winter.

"The last five weeks have worked out perfectly. I've achieved what I wanted to achieve. I was back home, training and facing balls from the bowling machine but to come over here and play for Somerset was a tremendous opportunity.

"My greatest challenge is to master concentration - that's what I was thrilled about here," he said.

"It's a matter of putting all your attention to the next ball bowled to you, trying not to get too far ahead (of yourself), whether that's two balls ahead of looking at the scoreboard, or worrying about something in the past.

"If you do that, you take a lot of pressure off yourself. It also allows you to keep your energy levels up, because you're only concentrating for a very short period at a time."

Somerset's Director of Cricket Brian Rose hailed Langer as a "wonderful example" to the club's younger players.

"I was there when Sir Viv scored his 322 and remember him murdering their attack.

"Justin is a different type of batsman. He knows his strengths and the shots he's not so proficient at - those shots he simply doesn't play," said Rose.



SEE ALSO
Langer runs Surrey bowlers ragged
19 Jul 06 |  Counties
Surrey look for Kumble to shine
17 Jul 06 |  Surrey


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