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Tuesday, March 30, 1999 Published at 21:12 GMT 22:12 UK

Sport: Cricket

Lara magic secures historic win

From villain to hero: Brian Lara is mobbed as he leaves the crease

A defiant 153 from Brian Lara guided West Indies to a magical victory in the third Test against Australia - giving the home side a 2-1 lead in the four-Test series.

Jim Maxwell reports on a historic win for the West Indies
In a nail-biting final two overs, man-of-the-match Lara was dropped behind, before Curtly Ambrose was caught by Matthew Elliot, leaving Windies at 302-9 with only six runs to win.

Lara modestly put the win down to his bowlers' showing in the second innings, when the Australians were dismissed for 146.

Brian Lara: "I had good partnerships to bat with"
"It was a great team effort - a great effort by everyone," he said. "The bowlers plugged it back in the second innings.

"Coming in today I thought we had a good chance. It's nice to go 2-1 up. We're looking forward to Antigua and going 3-1 up in the series."

Lara, when asked about his own scintillating performance, said simply: "I'm pretty happy with my own form."

Australian captain Steve Waugh was gracious in defeat.

"I think cricket was the winner," he said. "It was the best Test I've ever played in. It was great to play in."

History in the making

A no-ball from Stuart MacGill took the home side to 303, before Courtney Walsh defended four balls to give Lara the strike.

[ image: 153 not out: Lara back to his best]
153 not out: Lara back to his best
The West Indies captain then edged the first ball of Glenn McGrath's over just wide of Shane Warne to take two more runs.

With just three to win, McGrath bowled a wide - with Lara taking two more runs to tie the game, before striking a winning boundary with a superb straight drive.

It is only the fourth time the West Indies have scored more than 300 in the fourth innings to win a Test.

Ineffectual spinners

The Australians appeared certain to win when the West Indies went to tea at 254 for eight, still needing a further 54 runs to win while the Australians needed only two more wickets.

Steve Waugh: "I think this is the best Test match i've ever played in"
Instead, however, Lara protected his partner Ambrose, who went for over an hour without scoring a run.

The Australians were finally left to rue the ineffectiveness of spinners Warne and MacGill, after they had been lifted within sight of a memorable triumph by a superb fiery spell from paceman McGrath.

McGrath: Pacy spell

McGrath dismissed first Jimmy Adams and then claimed Ridley Jacobs and Nehemiah Perry with successive balls shortly before tea.

[ image: Lara and McGrath square up at the crease]
Lara and McGrath square up at the crease
The West Indies resumed on Tuesday morning at 85 for three, requiring a further 223 runs for victory.

They added 76 runs in the first session for the loss of two wickets and then lost Adams, Jacobs and Perry in the session between lunch and tea as their hopes began to fade.

Adams and Lara put on 133 runs for the sixth wicket before Adams fell to McGrath for a patient 38 from 125 balls.

Jacobs then made only five before being trapped lbw by McGrath and Perry was then out lbw first ball to McGrath - the bowler's fifth victim of the innings.- sparking scenes of celebration among the Australian fans in the crowd.

Lara: Century in style

Lara had earlier completed his century in fine style, reaching his ton with 14 fours and one six, off 169 balls.

Cricket commentator Ed Parerra: "The Windies still have a long way to go to resolve their pride"
The West Indies had struggled to avoid the follow-on in their first innings, but then gave themselves a reasonable target of 308 for victory by dismissing the Australians for 146 in their second innings on Monday.

Opener Adrian Griffith was the first batsman to fall on Tuesday when he was trapped lbw by Australian paceman Jason Gillespie after a painstaking 35.

Carl Hooper, recalled after missing the first two Tests, then went for six when he got an inside edge to a Gillespie delivery and was caught behind by Ian Healy.


Australia 1st innings 490 (S Waugh 199, R Ponting 104, J Langer 51)

West Indies 1st innings 329 (R Jacobs 68; G McGrath 4-128)

Australia 2nd innings 146 (C Walsh 5-39)

West Indies 2nd innings (Overnight 85-3)

S Campbell lbw b McGrath 33
A Griffith lbw b Gillespie 35
D Joseph lbw b MacGill 1
P Collins lbw b McGrath 0
B Lara not out 153
C Hooper c Healy b Gillespie 6
J Adams b McGrath 38
R Jacobs lbw b McGrath 5
N Perry lbw b McGrath 0
C Ambrose c Elliott b Gillespie 12
C Walsh not out 0

Extras (b8, lb13, w2, nb5) 28
Total (for nine wickets) 311

Fall-of-wickets: 1-72, 2-77, 3-78, 4-91, 5-105, 6-238, 7-248, 8-248, 9-302

Bowling: McGrath 44-13-92-5 (1w), Gillespie 26.1-8-62-3 (4nb), Warne 24-4-69-0 (1nb), MacGill 21-6-48-1, S Waugh 5-0-19-0 (1w)

Overs: 120.1
Result: West Indies won by one wicket

Series: West Indies lead four-Test series 2-1

Man-of-the-Match: Brian Lara

Umpires: E Nicholls (West Indies), D Orchard (South Africa)
Referee: R Subba Row (England)

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