Magnificent Lara Stands Alone

Third Digicel Test: West Indies v South Africa at Bridgetown, Barbados

Once again, Brian Lara showed the world what a dominant force he is in test cricket, and more worryingly, how the West Indies will miss him when he takes the maroon cap off for the final time.

Fidel Edwards and Ryan Hinds were recalled for Pedro Collins and Donovan Pagon, while Boeta Dippenaar replaced the injured and out of sorts Jacques Rudolph for South Africa.

On a sandy coloured pitch, South Africa made early inroads. Chris Gayle falling in the first over to Andre Nel, and Wavell Hinds followed soon after, sparring outside off stump to Makhaya Ntini.

The only dominant innings, Lara aside, came from captain Chanderpaul with 53. With the test match running a completely different course depending on which batsman was being bowled to, South Africa were kept afloat by the regular tumble of wickets, but Lara marched on, bringing his century up in 140 balls.

The day ended with Courtney Browne and Daren Powell at the crease, after Lara was bowled by the in-form Makhaya Ntini for 176. If failing to reach 200 is a problem, then it is perhaps Lara’s only worry with the bat, as he showed Barbados another gem of an innings today.

West Indies 292/7 (BC Lara 176, S Chanderpaul 53, A Nel 3/54)

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