Brian Lara v Australia, 153 not out - 10 Great Innings

There are a number of Brian Lara innings that could be included. Some are quite obvious. You can spot those ones easily enough. They're the ones that have huge numbers after his name. Big, team score kind of numbers. We've taken an alternate route and gone for a less widely-known innings.

To be honest, while Lara's contribution was essential for the West Indies victory in this match, it wasn't a one-man show. At one point in their first innings, the Windies were 98-6 replying to Australia's 490. It wasn't Lara who rescued them then, it was Sherwin Campbell with a hundred and Ridley Jacobs with a stout 68.

They were all out for 329, so they were still bloody miles behind Australia. Then Courtney Walsh took 5-39 and Australia were out for just 146 in their second innings. The West Indies needed 308 to win, but scores had been dwindling as the match wore on with the pitch increasingly difficult to bat on. Australia had selected both Warne and MacGill, so they were very much favourites.

Again West Indies collapsed. At 105-5, Jimmy Adams joined Brian Lara at the crease and in the next hour the pair added just 20 runs. But it got easier. They blunted the pace bowlers, indeed Jason Gillespie had to leave the field injured for a period, then feasted on the spinners. Lara found his feet and if you're bowling at Brian Lara, you'd much prefer him to be footless. He advanced with purpose, moving from 50 to 100 in 51 balls.

Eventually, Glenn McGrath bowled Jimmy Adams. He had contributed 38 to a stand of 133. 238-5 became 248-8 and Lara was left with Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh. Two players near the top of everyone's list of great bowlers, but who occupy a similar position in a list of utterly crap batsmen.

The West Indies won. They got home by one wicket.

10 Great Innings

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Tuesday, May 01, 2012

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