Lara hundred fails to stonewall Pakistan
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Friday (AFP) - A majestic 29th Test hundred
from Brian Lara could not stop Pakistan from bowling out West Indies on
the opening day of the opening Test on Thursday.
The 37-year-old Lara hit the top score of 130 at better than a run a
ball, but West Indies were dismissed for 345 in their first innings, and
Pakistan, in response, reached 22 without loss from four overs before
stumps were drawn.
Lara, making a return to the West Indies line-up after being rested
for the preceding three-match One-day International series, played some
breathtaking strokes to collect 14 fours and four sixes from 120 balls
in 2-3/4 hours of batting.
West Indies captain Shivnarine Chanderpaul added 169 for the fourth
wicket with Lara and was the perfect foil for the batting superstar
after West Indies won the toss and chose to bat on a hard, true
Kensington Oval pitch under partly cloudy skies.
Chanderpaul fell eight runs short of his 14th Test hundred, after
striking nine fours from 193 balls in just over four hours.
Abdul Razzaq, Shabbir Ahmed, and Danish Kaneria, all snared three
wickets for Pakistan.
Lara and Chanderpaul gave substance to their side's innings, after
West Indies courted early strife at 45 for three.
But when they were separated in the final half-hour before tea, there
was little support from the rest of the batting, as no one else showed
Lara reached his first Test hundred against the Pakistanis, when he
lofted two consecutive sixes off Kaneria over long-off to move from 90
Kaneria, the target of much of Lara's punishment, had the last laugh
when he deceived the great West Indies batsman and bowled him with a
Lara has now scored a hundred against each of the nine other Test
playing nations and has joined his elite contemporaries Rahul Dravid,
Gary Kirsten, Sachin Tendulkar, and Steve Waugh in this achievement.
He completely dominated his stand with fellow left-hander Chanderpaul,
after Shabbir, whose bowling action raised more than a few eyebrows,
threatened to completely ruin the day for West Indies.
Shabbir made the early breakthroughs after West Indies chose to bat,
when he had Chris Gayle caught at mid-off for four driving loosely off
the backfoot, and Ramnaresh Sarwan caught at third slip for six in the
first half-hour. West Indies' position could have been more treacherous
had second slip fielder Bazid Khan, making his Test debut, held a chance
from Devon Smith on nine off Rana Naved-ul-Hasan.
Smith however, failed to make the most of his reprieve and he was
caught at first slip off Razzaq for 19 when he edged a flat-footed drive
to the same fielder.
Lara quickly shook off the rust and blossomed with a pair of spanking
square drives off Razzaq, and when Chanderpaul joined him, they
gradually wore down the Pakistani bowlers.
The two left-handers carried West Indies to 102 for three at lunch,
and Lara set upon the Pakistani attack, particularly Shabbir, after the
After Lara raced to his landmark, Yasir Hameed dropped him on 103 at
slip off Shahid Afridi before Kaneria removed him. Wavell Hinds tried to
pick up where Lara left off, but he was a poor imitation, although he
and Chanderpaul took West Indies to 246 for four at tea.
After the break, Hinds was carelessly run out at the bowlers' end,
when he attempted a second run, after he and Chanderpaul added 49 for
the fifth wicket.
Courtney Browne was caught behind off Shabbir for 12 to leave West
Indies 287 for six, but Chanderpaul decided to cut loose, and tried to
gallop to reach his milestone.