Cricket: Australia 256 West Indies 227-4 - Lara takes charge of the revival

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The Independent Online
BRIAN LARA led a spirited West Indies revival yesterday with his first century in 15 Tests. He steered the home team from its perilous overnight position of 37 for 4 to 227 without further loss at tea on the second day of the second Test against Australia in Kingston. Lara, unbeaten on 113, which included 16 fours and a six, was ably supported by Jimmy Adams, his fellow left-hander, 46 not out.

West Indies are chasing 256, posted by Australia on the opening day. Lara, resuming on seven, went to the lunch break unbeaten on 44. He and Adams added 50 in 82 minutes after the nightwatchman Pedro Collins was forced to retire hurt after being hit where it really hurts by a delivery from fast bowler Jason Gillespie.

That was the only setback for the West Indies during the two two-hour sessions. Collins, a Barbadian in only his second Test, was hit on the protective box by an off-cutter from the fast bowler. The blow floored Collins, and after several minutes treatment he left the field. Collins hit two straight-driven boundaries off Gillespie in taking his overnight one to 10. He and Lara had put on 22.

Adams joined Lara at the crease and the two most experienced batsmen in the side saw off the pace pair of Gillespie and Glenn McGrath, who had proven so destructive late on Saturday afternoon.

The duo also had little difficulty in negotiating the leg-spin tandem of Shane Warne and Stuart MacGill. Lara was a study of concentration and determination before lunch, but he began to blossom during the afternoon session.

The 29-year-old Trinidadian stroked boundaries to all parts of the ground as he raced to three figures. The dual world record-holder had not scored a century in 27 innings before yesterday. His last century was in June 1997 against Sri Lanka in St Vincent.

On Saturday, McGrath and Gillespie had left West Indies reeling again after a four-wicket new-ball burst. McGrath seized three wickets and Gillespie took the other as West Indies slumped to 37 for 4. At that stage Australia's total, of which Steve Waugh, the captain, made exactly 100, looked a healthy one.

McGrath bowled the opener Sherwin Campbell for 12 as he aimed an ambitious drive, had the debutant Lincoln Roberts was caught off the top of his glove for nought, and removed Dave Joseph (14) when the batsman sliced a slower ball to point.

That gave McGrath 3 for 28 from his opening spell while Gillespie had the other opener, Suruj Ragoonath, lbw for a duck pushing forward, leaving Lara to guide his team to a competitive total, something he did with aplomb.

Second day; Australia won toss

AUSTRALIA - First Innings

256 (S R Waugh 100, M E Waugh 67; C A Walsh 4-55,).

WEST INDIES - First Innings

S L Campbell b McGrath 12

S Ragoonath lbw b Gillespie 0

L A Roberts c Warne b McGrath 0

*B C Lara not out 113

D R E Joseph c Blewett b McGrath 14

P T Collins retired hurt 10

J C Adams not out 46

Extras (b8, lb 8, nb 16) 32

Total (for 4, 69 overs) 227

Fall: 1-4 2-5 3-17 4-34.

To bat: R D Jacobs, N O Perry, C E L Ambrose, C A Walsh.

Bowling: McGrath 19-8-46-3; Gillespie 20-4-50-1; Warne 13-4-43-0; MacGill 11-2-44-0; Blewett 4-0-15-0; M E Waugh 2-0-13-0.

Umpires: S R Bucknor (WI) and P Willey (Eng).