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Ashes: Old mates Symonds and Hayden on the hunt again

Ashes: Old mates Symonds and Hayden on the hunt again

Andrew Symonds had Matthew Hayden with him when he had to swim for his life on an ill-fated fishing expedition.
Six years later and with Symonds facing another sink or swim scenario _ this time in terms of his test cricket career _ it was Hayden beside him again.
The longtime Queensland state teammates joined forces with Australia reeling at 82 for five on Wednesday in reply to England's first innings of 159 in the fourth Ashes test.
It was time for Symonds, averaging just over 18 with the bat in 11 previous tests and really only in the team because of injury to Shane Watson, to live up to expectations.
The pair put on 279 runs, the second-highest partnership for the sixth wicket in an Ashes test in Australia, with Symonds posting his maiden test hundred and Hayden getting his 27th.
All that time shared on those fishing and hunting trips and surfing holidays translated into a brilliant partnership at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
"I have done a lot of things with Matty over the years with my cricket and with my life, and for me it was very fitting to do it with him," Symonds said of his first test century.
"He was like a pillar of strength for me. He reined me in when I was going too hard or when I was losing focus. He was a huge help."
When Symonds clobbered Paul Collingwood for a driven six to reach triple figures, he sprinted back toward Hayden and lunged onto him.
The 31-year-old admitted to being a little enthusiastic.
"I felt like I let a lot of emotion out when I celebrated," he said. "It's been an amazing test match for me. I didn't think I would be anywhere near playing in the series, to playing with Shane Warne out here getting 700 wickets, scoring 100 with one of my best mates of all time in the Boxing Day test ... it's been a fair old week."
Hayden, who climbed to No. 7 on the list of all-time century makers in test cricket, curbed his own celebrations when he got to 100, saying he was more focussed on getting Symonds to triple figures.
He said it was one of the happiest times in his own test career.
"From fishing to camping to hunting to test match hundreds in Melbourne _ it was an incredible day," Hayden said.
The pair have often recounted how they had to swim for the lives after their fishing boat sunk a kilometer off the Queensland coast in 2000.
Hayden has got more conspicuous evidence of their latest adventure, resulting from an airborne, mid-pitch hug.
"I had 98 kilograms bearing down on the top of the helmet and I've got a bit of a scar," he said.
Hayden said he never really doubted that Symonds' phenomenal ability in limited-overs cricket would translate to the test arena.
"Simmo is a true warrior and once he's under the pump he performs his best. His character really showed it today," Hayden said. "He's a big match player. Big crowds, big events, he rises to the occasion."
Hayden was out for 153 just before stumps, with Symonds remaining unbeaten on 154 at the close of play on the second day.
His innings included 15 boundaries and the six off Collingwood.
"Andrew took the opportunity to make the MCG look like a postage stamp," Hayden said.
Australia will resume Thursday at 372 for seven, a lead of 213 runs on the first innings and on course to make it 4-0 before the series-ending test next week in Sydney.


Updated : 2021-07-29 02:03 GMT+08:00