Hauritz is big hit with bat

FORMER Hervey Bay junior cricketer Nathan Hauritz was unsure how he would be received by the crowd at the Gabba this week.

After all, he does play for New South Wales nowadays and not Queensland.

He needn’t have worried.

The 28-year-old got a huge ovation after he scored his maiden Test match 50 on day two of the first Test against the West Indies in Brisbane yesterday.

Hauritz finished unbeaten on 50 not out, an innings which included six boundaries, as Australia scored eight for 480 declared just before tea.

His father Terry, who still lives in Hervey Bay, was in the crowd and not surprisingly he said he felt so proud when Nathan scored the single that took him to his 50.

“He batted really well and hit some fantastic shots,” Terry said.

“He also hit plenty of good ones that were fielded well.

“Sure he had a couple of dicey moments and a bit of luck but so did other players.”

Terry also said it was so pleasing that Nathan had been well received by the Queenslanders.

“He’s been booed every time he’s played at the Gabba for New South Wales since he left Queensland,” he said.

“There was no doubt he didn’t know how well they (the crowd) would take to him so it was great that he got what he got – he deserved it.

“Well, he was playing for his country and there is no higher honour than that after all.”

Mitchell Johnson (2-45) led the way as Ponting’s young quicks reduced the tourists to 5-134 at stumps on Friday, still 346 behind the home side’s 8(dec)-480.

The Windies top-order collapsed from 0-49 to 4-63 in a matter of five overs after tea as they failed to handle the pace and bounce of Johnson, Ben Hilfenhaus and Peter Siddle.

Allrounder Shane Watson also chipped in with the scalp of former Queensland teammate Brendan Nash (18) while Ponting dropped the unbeaten Travis Dowlin when he was seven.

With three days remaining, the Windies are in dire straits with a feeble tail ripe for the picking once third-Test scrapper Dowlin (40no) or wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin (22no) is dislodged.

The follow-on target of 280 looks far beyond them and Ponting would smell blood and be tempted to go for a quick kill.

He would weigh it up with a desire for more time in the middle for his batsmen, most particularly Watson who failed to score in the first innings.

With injured spearhead Jerome Taylor (hip) joining key batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan on the sidelines, the Windies problematic tour sank deeper into trouble at the Gabba.

Dropped catches once again hurt with substitute fielder Darren Sammy dropping Hauritz in the slips on five before he went on to become the fifth Australian to notch his half-century.

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