Lara blasts 156 as West Indies defeat Pakistan

Associated Press

Adelaide, January 28:

Brian Lara returned to top form on Friday, hitting an imperious 156 to lead the West Indies to a 58-run win over Pakistan in a tri-series limited-overs cricket match. Lara’s 138-ball innings, punctuated by 12 fours and five sixes, lifted the West Indies to 339-4 in 50 overs, the highest score recorded by any team in a one-day match at Adelaide.

Pakistan made a respectable 281-9 in reply, but never approached the onerous winning run-rate that the West Indian total required. Pakistan was 116-5 at the halfway point of its innings, still needing 223. In the last 10 overs, they required 124 runs. The West Indies scored 122 in the same period, but also had wickets in hand. The West Indies’ win lifted them into second place with nine points, behind Australia with 26 and ahead of Pakistan which took a bonus point to move to seven. The early part of Lara’s innings, which began when the West Indies were 56-2, was tentative. Lara put on 197 for the fourth wicket with Shivnarine Chanderpaul (85) to see the West Indies through the most dangerous period before fully launching his assault.

Lara managed the tempo of the West Indian scoring, keeping the run rate ticking over with singles and twos in the early part of the innings, then launching his barrage of fours and sixes in the last 10 overs. Lara reached his 19th one-day international century from 117 balls. Of his first 100 runs, Lara scored 39 in singles and 24 in twos, overcoming a wrist injury to steer the ball into gaps in the Pakistan field. His first half century came slowly, from 81 balls, but when he let loose he smashed his next 100 runs from only 51 deliveries. At the height of his innings, he went from 100 to 150 in only 19 balls.

The West Indies were only 177-2 after 35 overs, scoring at barely five runs an over and likely to struggle to reach 250 at the same scoring rate. Lara’s century was his second against Pakistan and the largest of his four centuries in Australia. Chanderpaul took his 85 runs from 92. Wavell Hinds later added an unbeaten 30 from 18 balls. The Pakistan reply was steady but there was no one to match Lara’s brilliance. Yousuf Youhana scored 45 before being run out, Abdul Razzaq made 44, Mohammad Haffez 41 and Azhar Mahmood a late 40 off 36 balls.