I have repaid a debt to the team: Lara

Published: Friday, December 15, 2000, 23:53 [IST]
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Adelaide: Brian Lara said he felt he had repaid a debt to West Indian cricket after scoring a magnificent 136 not out on the first day of the third test against Australia on Friday.

Lara smashed 21 fours and a six to help the tourists finish the opening day at Adelaide Oval on 274 for four after losing the first two Tests.

''I think I owed the team badly after the first two Test matches. We've been under a lot of pressure and we've been working pretty hard as a team to try and pull things back,'' Lara said.

''It's been a rough ride for me. The runs have been coming but not in the right matches so I'm happy to have got some runs in the Test today.''

The West Indies rely heavily on Lara but the former national captain has been badly out of form this series with scores of 0, 4, 0 and 17 and this has been mirrored by the team's dismal performance.

Despite struggling with a chronic hamstring strain that has plagued him for five months, Lara showed his determination to regain his touch with a double-century last weekend against Australia 'A'.

''My hamstring has been bothering me for five to six months but I've only missed one one-day international because of it,'' Lara said.

''The main thing is you're there to play cricket for your country and whatever the circumstances are you've got to stick it out. We know we played badly in the first two Test matches. As a team we batted badly and as a batsman I've got to work on my game to make a contribution," he said.

''Twenty-one runs is not the becoming of a number four batsman. I really enjoyed batting with Jimmy. We had a significant partnership again today and we played an important part,'' Lara said.

''Hopefully tomorrow I can go on and help the team get a very big score and put some pressure on Australia because they are the best team in the world.

''They're playing very good cricket and it's going to take a very good cricket team to beat then, not just a good batting performance but a good bowling performance.

''We've had a good day today but we need to bat for at least two more sessions, if we do that then I think we can get a good score.''

Lara gets ton as Windies reach 274 for 4

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