Lara special puts Windies in the driver~~s seat

Published: Tuesday, November 21, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Multan:A majestic unbeaten 196 from captain Brian Lara put West Indies in complete control of the second Test against Pakistan on Tuesday.

The 37-year-old left hander stood on the brink of his ninth double century in Tests as the visitors piled up 509 for five by the close of play on the third day.

Lara and Dwayne Bravo (89) shared a record fifth-wicket partnership of 200 as West Indies chalked up their highest total in Pakistan after the home side had been bowled out for 357 in the first innings.

Skipper Lara is enjoying a rich vein of form, having hit 61 and 122 in the first-Test defeat in Lahore.

Bravo was caught at slip by Younis Khan off leg spinner Danish Kaneria shortly before the close.

It was a rare moment of glory for Kaneria, who had been mauled by Lara.

Lara, the highest scorer in Tests, became the fifth batsman to score a century before lunch as he compiled his fourth century in four Tests against Pakistan.

He smashed 100 from 77 balls with five sixes and 12 fours to bring up his 34th Test century. Only India's Sachin Tendulkar (35) has more

Lara, who was dropped twice in his 366-minute innings, and Bravo eclipsed the previous best fifth-wicket stand of 185 between Collie Smith and Everton Weekes at Bridgetown in 1957.

It was a very mediocre day for Pak in the field. The first chance was spilled by Imran Farhat at slip off Shoaib Malik with Lara on 131. Wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal also fumbled a leg-side opportunity off Kaneria with the left hander on 183.

In the same over, Akmal also failed to stump Bravo on 79.

Lara produced several savage strokes, hitting a total of 21 fours and seven sixes.

Bravo may have been overshadowed by his skipper but still struck 12 fours of his own.

Lara was particularly severe on Kaneria, hammering the spinner for 26 in one over with three sixes and two fours.

He raced from 50 to 100 in only 29 balls as seamer Abdul Razzaq also went for three fours in one over.

West Indies began the day on 151 for nought and Kaneria made the first breakthroughs, trapping Chris Gayle (93) and Daren Ganga (82) lbw.

Paceman Umar Gul removed Runako Morton for five before Shahid Nazir dismissed Shivnarine Chanderpaul (14) on the left hander's 100th Test appearance.

Brief Scores:

Pakistan Ist innings 357 vs West Indies 509 for 5 (Brian Lara 196 n o, Chris Gayle 93, Dwayne Bravo 89, Darren Ganga 82; Danish Kaneria 3 for 159)


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