Lara crosses Border in Adelaide

Adelaide, November 26:

West Indian batting superstar Brian Lara on Saturday became the greatest runscorer in Test cricket during his epic double-century in the third Test against Australia at Adelaide Oval.

The 36-year-old Trinidad great, 12 runs off the record on his overnight score of 202, went past Allan Border’s world record aggregate of 11,174 runs ( 164 Tests) on the second day.

Lara’s 405-minute masterpiece for 226 left him with a Test aggregate of 11,187 runs at an average of 54.04 in his 121st Test. Lara went into cricket folklore when he flicked a McGrath delivery off his hip to fine leg. ‘The Prince,’ with his flourishing high backlift and classic strokemaking, raised his bat to the appreciative crowd and was hugged by batting partner Daren Powell in tribute to his achievement. The Australian players walked over to him to shake his hand and pat him on the back.

“Stuff like this, you would love to do it in front of your home crowd, but actually to be here in Australia is great, Allan Border is from Australia,” Lara said. “It was really touching to be here and be appreciated by a country I’ve had great battles with over the years.” Border paid tribute to Lara for ending his reign as Test cricket’s greatest run-getter. “Brian is just in a different league to what I was. That’s not false modestly. It’s just the facts,” Border said. “He had more shots and scored at a much faster rate than I did. There is a tinge of sadness there but I was surprised to hold the record in the first place. I say good luck to him.” Lara’s statistics back up his cricket eminence. It was his eighth double-century, 31st Test century and ninth against Australia. Only three players have scored more centuries in Tests than Lara: Indians Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar with 34 and Australian Steve Waugh 32.

Lara has the highest Test score of 400 not out against England in Antigua in April last year. He also holds the highest first-class score of 501 not out for English cou-nty Warwickshire in 1994.