Lara out for 83 as West Indies prosper
The master batsman gave New Zealand fans cause for admiration when he made 83 on Sunday to invigorate the West Indies in the third Test.india Updated: Mar 26, 2006 10:58 IST
Master batsman Brian Lara gave New Zealand fans cause for admiration when he made 83 on Sunday to invigorate the West Indies in the third Test.
By stumps on the second day, with Lara's inspiration, the West Indies had moved from 224 for four at lunch to 256 without further loss in a rain-shortened middle session. No play was possible in the final session due to continuing rain.
Runako Morton spurred the West Indies on after Lara's dismissal and had reached 70 not out, his highest Test score, when rain stopped play 46 minutes after lunch.
He shared a 67-run unbroken stand with Dwayne Bravo, unbeaten on 22.
The tourists added 161 runs to their overnight total, for the loss of Lara, Daren Ganga for 38 and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who was run out for 2.
Lara, the world's leading runscorer in Tests, was cut off 17 runs short of his 32nd Test century when he attempted to pull a lobbing, short-pitched ball from Nathan Astle which took the bottom edge of his bat, hit the back of his leg and rolled onto his stumps.
For the previous two hours and 22 minutes, Lara had entertained New Zealand cricket followers with a demonstration of the qualities of concentration, grit, coordination and technique.
He built his most substantial innings of the three-test series, after his dismissals for 5, 0, 1 and 1 in the first two Tests. The most notable feature of his innings was that no batsman but Lara, who has always defied categorization, could have made as many runs as quickly when he was so patently out of form.
The early part of Lara's innings, particularly the 71 minutes he spent at the crease on Saturday scratching out 28 runs, was an almost painful battle to survive.
His four innings prior to Saturday had jointly lasted 50 minutes and 23 balls and in the second innings of the first Test he was bowled for a first-ball duck.
Commentators suggested Lara was unfit, that his eyesight was failing, that these late years of his career were to be likely to provide a meek echo of the glory days.
Lara eliminated all of that conjecture, at least showing that the desire and ability to make big innings are still part of his makeup. He has been quoted as saying that the first hour of each of his innings belongs to the bowlers but what follows, once he had negotiated that period of vulnerability, is "my time".
Lara reached his own time in this innings and seemed likely to go on to another of the major innings that punctuate his career when he was out in such unusual circumstances.
There were still periods of discomfort Sunday and New Zealand fast bowler Shane Bond sat Lara on his backside with a bouncer which reared toward his chin, jerked back his head and sent him sprawling. But Lara coped with bowling of all lengths and speeds on Sunday with regained confidence and fresh certainty.
West Indies 1st Innings: Chris Gayle c Fulton b Martin 30, Daren Ganga b Bond 38, Brian Lara b Astle 83, Runako Morton not out 70, Shivanarine Chanderpaul run out 2, Dwayne Bravo not out 22, Extras: (lb-3, nb-8) 11, Total: (for four wickets in 78.1 overs) 256.
Fall of wkts: 1-37, 2-111, 3-171, 4-189.
Bowling: Bond 18-2-87-1, Franklin 15-1-66-0, Martin 10-2-39-1, Astle 14-5-23-1, Styris 13.1-5-27-0, Vettori 8-4-11-0.
Umpires: Mark Benson (England), Ian Howell (South Africa). TV umpire: Gary Baxter (New Zealand), Match referee: Mike Procter (South Africa).