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Lara Sails Past World Record
In Response To: LARA MAKES HISTORIC 400 ()

From Myles Hodgson, PA Sport Cricket Correspondent, St John's

Brian Lara joined cricket's immortals today by becoming the first player in history to claim the individual record for a Test innings twice after progressing to an unbeaten 384 in the final Test against England.

Resuming on 313 with West Indies on 595 for five, Lara started the third day knowing he needed just 68 runs to overhaul the 380 Matthew Hayden scored against Zimbabwe in Perth last October.

He began with a flourish, but gradually increased the tempo to claim the record in the 33rd over of the day and retain the record he first claimed 10 years ago by scoring 375 against England at this same venue.

He had not taken long to get into his stride this morning and took only two overs to record his first boundary off Marcus Trescothick, who was again supplementing the attack because Matthew Hoggard was back at the team hotel still suffering with the same stomach complaint that ruled Ashley Giles out of the Test.

Trescothick veered onto the leg side and Lara quickly seized on the opportunity to guide the ball to the fine leg boundary, but it was partner Ridley Jacobs who brought up the first milestone of the day with a single off Gareth Batty in the next over enabling him to reach his half-century.

As if to celebrate his achievement, Jacobs promptly launched Trescothick for a straight six and brought up the 150 partnership, of which he had contributed only 59 runs, and prompted England into taking the third new ball with Lara still 58 runs short of the record.

The new ball, and England's tactics of bowling a succession of short-pitched deliveries at him, restricted Lara's scoring rate and even induced a rare false shot when he edged Steve Harmison's fourth delivery wide of Andrew Flintoff at second slip to the third man boundary.

But in the next eight overs, Lara added only eight runs as England attempted to increase the pressure on him and try to induce him into making a mistake and deny him a chance of cricket history.

He emerged from that temporary slump to to flick Simon Jones off his legs after an hours play and claim his first boundary for 11 overs and and just five overs later steered off-spinner Gareth Batty for the two runs which he needed to become the first player in history to reach 350 twice.

Lara never looked ruffled by the pressure growing on him as he approached his target and every run was cheered by an out-numbered but vocal West Indian crowd who had come to witness another piece of history at the Recreation Ground.

But if Lara had any doubts about his ability to reach the record, though, he was given a further boost when he was just 21 runs short of his target after England lost another key bowler from their attack.

Harmison, who had received two previous warnings from umpire Aleem Dar, was given his third warning for running on the pitch in his follow through and removed from the attack for the remainder of the innings.

Without Hoggard or Harmison, captain Michael Vaughan introduced himself into the attack and Lara quickly seized on another loose delivery to hit another boundary and draw level with Sobers' score of 365.

Vaughan almost had an immediate impact when he bowled Jacobs for 87 in his second over only for Hair to signal a no-ball for over-stepping and the nerves were clearly building in Lara, who survived a strong appeal from wicketkeeper Geraint Jones on 373 after he played a loose shot facing Batty.

It clearly did not pray on his mind, however, and he equalled Hayden's record with a straight six down the ground in Batty's next over before and then swept the next ball for another boundary to take his place in history.

He was immediately mobbed by his team-mates and accepted the congratulations of the England team although he the close attentions of the police avoided a pitch invasion by the crowd similar to the one that greeted his record 10 years ago.

Messages In This Thread

Lara Sails Past World Record
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Trinidad and Tobago News

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