Lara helps West Indies to solid start

Published on Mar 25, 2006 11:50 AM IST

Brian Lara rediscovered some form with 28 not out to help West Indies reach 95 for one at the close on the first day of the third Test against New Zealand.

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None | ByReuters, Napier

Brian Lara rediscovered some form with a careful 28 not out to help West Indies reach 95 for one at the close on the first day of the third Test against New Zealand in Napier on Saturday.

Overnight rain and a wet McLean Park outfield had delayed the start of play until 0300 GMT, and after the early loss of Chris Gayle, Lara and Daren Ganga combined in a 58-run unbroken partnership before the fading light forced the players from the field at 0510.

Play was eventually called off at about 0530 with Lara, who had scored just seven runs in four innings in the series, on 28 with Ganga on 31.

Gayle had provided West Indies with a breezy start, stroking five boundaries in his 27-ball 30, before he fell into a trap set by Fleming.

The New Zealand captain bought in a short cover after Gayle had scored a few runs through the area with aerial shots, only for his next attempt from a short Chris Martin delivery to be easily snapped up by Peter Fulton for 30.

Lara, who became the highest run scorer in Test cricket in Australia last November, in what is bound to be his last Test match in New Zealand, nervously flicked the first ball he received from nemesis Shane Bond to fine leg where it dropped just short of Martin.

Bond had dismissed Lara twice this series, both from the first ball the Trinidadian faced from the fast bowler.

Lara also survived a confident lbw appeal from Nathan Astle before the tea break. In the 20 minutes after tea, Lara began to look more assured, though the light forced the end of the day's play early.

New Zealand have wrapped up the series after a 27-run victory in the first Test in Auckland and a 10-wicket win in Wellington.


West Indies 1st Innings: Chris Gayle c Fulton b Martin 30, Daren Ganga not out 31, Brian Lara not out 28, Extras: (lb-2, nb-4) 6, Total: (for one wkt in 27.2 overs) 95.

Fall of wkts: 1-37.

Bowling: Shane Bond 9-0-40-0 (nb-3), James Franklin 8-1-25-0 (nb-1), Chris Martin 4-1-18-1, Nathan Astle 6.2-2-10-0.

Umpires: Mark Benson (England) and Ian Howell (South Africa). TV Umpire: Gary Baxter (New Zealand), Match Referee: Mike Procter (South Africa).

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