Monday, April 12, 2004

T&T: Lara doing the next best thing

Nothing that Brian Lara can do now, can recover the Wisden trophy or 36 years of dominance over England.

So, the West Indies captain is doing the next best thing.

At 5.20 p.m. yesterday afternoon when he pushed Gareth Batty delicately into the point region to reach 300, Lara's 34-year-old legs left the ground in a hurry after he'd run past the non-striker's end.

Off came his helmet. He looked at it and gently kissed the West Indies crest on the front.

All around the Antigua Recreation ground-in the West Indies players' enclosure, in the ram cram Chickie posse stand, upstairs in the Sir Viv Richards pavilion and in the new temporary structure to the east where much of the English travelling support was massed-people were off their feet too.

At the end of the day, when Lara, wearied but unbowed returned to the pavilion, 313 not out, a similar reception greeted him. This time, almost to a man, Michael Vaughan and his England team joined in, breaking off from their trek to their own dressing room to shake hands. Lara accepted their gestures with hardly a smile.

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