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Lara shines with 156 as Windies grab crucial win

Captain Brian Lara's 138-ball knock, including five sixes, set up a resounding 58-run win for his side.
PTI | By Trevor Robb (AFP), Melbourne
UPDATED ON JAN 28, 2005 02:58 PM IST

Skipper Brian Lara returned to his brilliant best on Friday, blasting a record-breaking 156 as the West Indies put Pakistan to the sword with a 58-run victory at Adelaide Oval to keep their tri-series hopes alive.

Lara's superb knock, his 19th century in one-day matches, helped the Windies to a ground-record 339 for 4, a tally well beyond the means of a lifeless Pakistan who could manage just 281 for 9 in reply.

It was also the highest individual one-day score at the Adelaide Oval, surpassing Indian Sourav Ganguly's 141 in the 1999-2000 season.

Playing in his 250th limited overs international, it was Lara's fifth century against Pakistan in one-day matches coming off 138 balls as he smacked five booming sixes and 12 fours.

After a scratchy start to his innings, Lara, still playing with the wrist injury which has plagued him for most of the series, put his foot on the gas and kept pushing hard.

His first 50 came off 81 balls, his second from 36 and his third off just 19 deliveries in 17 minutes as he humiliated the woeful Pakistan attack.

Together with left-hander Shivnarine Chanderpaul, the pair provided the backbone which allowed the Windies to stand tall in their hour of need, with a partnership which piled on 187 runs on a slow batting wicket.

Defeat in the match would have ended any hopes the West Indies had of playing in the best-of-three finals series against Australia, who have already qualified.

Instead, Pakistan, who were two points clear of their rivals, now trail them by the same margin and face the unbeaten host nation in Perth on Sunday.

They will then play a final match against the West Indies, also in Perth, next Tuesday which will decide the the fate of both teams.

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