Cricket: Julian steals Lara's glory

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Brian Lara was upstaged by a savage display of power hitting from the Surrey and former Australian pace bowler Brendon Julian as the West Indies lost their opening tour match yesterday to the Australian Cricket Board Chairman's XI.

Lara opened his account in Australia with a fluent 66 in the West Indies' total of 256 for 9 from their 50 overs but it was not enough to prevent them from slipping to a three-wicket defeat at Lilac Hill, Perth.

It was an embarrassing result for the West Indies against a side fielding three retired Test fast bowlers in the West Indian Michael Holding and Australia's Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson.

After reducing the Chairman's XI to 95 for 6 in the 25th over, the West Indies appeared poised for a comfortable victory. But Julian transformed the match by smashing six sixes and seven fours in an unbeaten 96 from only 52 balls to sweep his side to victory at 258 for 7 with eight overs to spare. Julian was denied a century when his partner, Thomson, hit the winning runs.

The Worcestershire captain and former Australian Test batsman Tom Moody contributed a responsible 66 as the pair added 148 in 15 overs for the seventh wicket. They were particularly harsh on the off-spin of Carl Hooper and the slow left-arm bowling of Jimmy Adams, who between them conceded 79 runs in eight overs.

The fast bowler Ian Bishop took 4 for 44, which included the wicket of the former Australian captain Allan Border for seven, but he lacked support.

West Indies play Western Australia in Perth later this week in one-day and three-day matches as part of their preparations for the first Test in Brisbane, starting on 22 November.

TOUR MATCH (Lilac Hill, Perth): West Indies 256 for 9 (B Lara 66, R Samuels 31, R Holder 31; B Julian 3-33), Australian Cricket Board Chairman's XI 258 for 7 (B Julian 96 no, T Moody 66; I Bishop 4-44). Chairman's XI won by 3 wickets.