As New Zealand sought to slice through the Australian batting order in the first cricket test at the Gabba this week, they found themselves up against a left-handed brick wall through the first two sessions of the opening day.

As Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer rattled up centuries they also collected a few notable marks ...

* Their opening partnership of 224 was the highest between two left-handers, eclipsing the 198 between England's Bob Barber and Geoff Pullar against Pakistan in 1961-62.

* Before Hayden and Langer's 158 in this year's fifth Ashes test, Australia had selected just six left-handed pairings in 124 years. Hayden and Langer already hold positions one and two on Australia's best left-handed partnership list.

* Australia's other left-handed opening duos were Bill Lawry and Bob Cowper, Kepler Wessels and Graeme Wood, Wessels and Wayne Phillips, Phillips and Greg Matthews, Mark Taylor and Matthew Elliot, and Taylor and Hayden.

* Hayden became the first home-grown specialist batsman to score a century in front of his home crowd since test cricket was first played in Brisbane at Exhibition Ground, in November 1928. The likes of Allan Border and Greg Chappell moved north from other states.