Lara sets new Test standard
West Indies star Brian Lara made history as cricket’s all-time leading run scorer on day two of the third Test against Australia but the hosts are building a formidable first innings score in Adelaide.
Lara, the swashbuckling Windies hero, established a new mark for Test runs when he surpassed the legendary Allan Border’s 11,174 run tally in the morning and went on to post 226 in his innings, taking him to 11,187 in his career.
The tourists were finally dismissed before lunch for 405, and the Aussies comfortably reached 229 for three by the close of play.
Justin Langer was a run shy of his 23rd Test century when he was caught off the glove by wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin.
The Australian opener had been standing at the crease on 99 runs for the better part of four overs when he finally attempted a hook off the bowling of Fidel Edwards in the penultimate over of the day’s play.
His dismissal put the visitors in a positive frame of mind after their medium pace bowling attack had caused little trouble for the batsmen.
The day will be remembered for Lara.
The 36-year-old was already responsible for the highest individual score in a Test when scoring 400 not out against England in April last year.
The 501 he scored for Warwickshire against Durham in 1994 was also the highest score in first-class cricket.
Lara has pulled off his feat in 35 Tests less than the former Australian captain.
“It is a great feeling,” said Lara, who was interviewed at lunch by Channel Nine Down Under.
“With stuff like this, you'd like to do it in front of your home crowd but it's special here with Allan Border being an Australian.
“The reception this morning was excellent and it's really touching to be appreciated by a country I've had great battles with throughout my career.”
Border led the tributes to the Trinidadian ace, but missed the actual moment as he was at his son’s Under-10s cricket game.
“I pass on my congratulations to Brian Lara,” Border said in a statement.
“He is a very worthy holder of the mantle of the greatest run-scorer in Test history.
“I played against Brian when he made his century in Sydney in the season of 1992-93 and I would rank him as one of the best three batsmen in the world.
“I have had the pleasure of seeing him play a lot of cricket and there is no doubt he is a genuine genius.
“I am sure I am not the only Australian who is pleased to see him hold this record.”
Lara also admitted that West Indies legend Sir Garfield Sobers had played a huge part in steering him towards greatness.
"When I was just 15, he looked at me and said I'd be a Test cricketer and a good one. It's nice to have fulfilled his dream,” Lara said.
As far as the match is concerned, Australia will fancy their chances of overhauling the Windies to record a first innings lead and possibly go on to sweep the three-Test series.
Langer and Matthew Hayden got the hosts off to a fine start, with the latter hitting 47 off just 58 balls before being caught by Shivnarine Chanderpaul at extra cover off the bowling of Dwayne Bravo.
The West Indies medium pacer then struck again, sending captain Ricky Ponting back to the pavilion for 56 when he had him trapped lbw.
Brad Hodge joined Langer and the two put on 17 runs before the fall of Langer’s wicket.
Mike Hussey, who had opened with Hayden while Langer was out injured earlier in the series, came in at number five and faced four balls before stumps, with Australia 176 runs behind.