Lara plays maestro again to prop up West Indies

West Indies 292-7 - South Africa

It is a role to which Brian Lara has become accustomed during his lengthy career in a failing team and the left-handed maestro found himself having to fill it once more as the West Indies faltered on the opening day of the third Test here in Barbados yesterday.

In the previous Test in his home town, Port of Spain, he came to the crease at 13 for 2 inside the first half-hour and reeled off a brilliant 196. Yesterday, he came in at 12 for 3, after the openers, Chris Gayle and Wavell Hinds, and the second Test century-maker, Ramnaresh Sarwan, were removed by South Africa's new ball pair, Andre Nel and Makhaya Ntini.

An hour after lunch, Lara was 60 and in dominant form, his captain Shivnarine Chanderpaul 43 and the West Indies 118 for 3.

On a hard, true pitch, offering pace and bounce missing from those in the first two Tests, Chanderpaul seemed to gain the early advantage by winning the toss and choosing to bat for the third time in the series. But Nel and Ntini quickly put them under pressure with fast, controlled bowling.

Gayle, the tall left-hander who was dismissed for six and one in the second Test, failed to score this time, finding a tentative edge to Nel's fifth ball of the innings.

Hinds, his left-handed partner, fell in Ntini's third over, taken at first slip off a defensive stroke for one. When Sarwan's careless cut off Nel six balls later presented a face-high catch to Ashwell Prince, the West Indies had surrendered the early advantage and needed Lara and Chanderpaul, their two most experienced players with 196 Tests between them, to rescue the innings. Lara announced himself with a trademark backfoot boundary through the covers while Chanderpaul, the fourth left-hander in the top five, offered him solid support.

In hot weather, Graeme Smith, the South Africa captain, used five bowlers in an unsuccessful attempt to dislodge the pair before lunch when both were 23 with the total 60 for 3.

Lara announced a change of tempo after lunch with a crisp cover driven four off Ntini and he continued to find the boundaries, adding 37 in the first hour after lunch.

West Indies made two changes from the team that lost by eight wickets in the second Test. The fast bowler Fidel Edwards replaced his injured brother Pedro Collins, and the all-rounder Ryan Hinds took over from Donovan Pagon.

South Africa, up 1-0 in the four-match rubber, chose not to bring in their pace bowler and former captain Shaun Pollock who joined up with the squad on Monday. "Shaun is not yet 100 per cent, so we didn't want to risk him," Smith said at the toss.

South Africa made only one change, replacing injured batsman Jacques Rudolph with Boeta Dippenaar, who scored 184 over the weekend in a warm-up match.

News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'