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Brian Lara

EZRA STUART at Kensington Oval
A FOUR-YEAR-OLD BOY suffering from the dreaded disease leukemia got a dream gift yesterday, 24 hours after meeting the world's best batsman.
It wasn't in the form of medication or treatment, but remained inspiring nonetheless.
Little Ramon, a four-year old from Government Hill, St Michael, who actually missed Brian Lara's innings yesterday because he had to go for treatment, met Lara on Wednesday, and told him how much he liked the batting supremo.
"I met a Lara fan yesterday," a smiling Lara told a packed news conference at Kensington Oval after scoring a brilliant 130 against Pakistan that etched his name deeper into cricket's history books.
" His name is Ramon, a four-year-old suffering with leukemia. He is going in for treatment today [yesterday] so he asked me if I could get a hundred, so this one is for Ramon."
Brian Lara Unbelievably, it actually took Lara 15 years to score a Test century against Pakistan.
But he got the elusive hundred in grand style with consecutive sixes against the highly-touted leg-spinner Danish Kaneria to join an elite band of batsmen to score centuries against every Test-playing country.
Previously, South African Gary Kirsten, Australian Steve Waugh and India's pair of Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar were the only ones to perform such a feat.
Ironically, Lara, now 36 years old, made his Test debut against Pakistan in 1990 and only twice in eight Tests and 14 innings, had he made half-centuries.
His previous highest score was 96 in 1993 but Lara gave the Pakistani bowlers a taste of his blazing bat with a vintage knock of 130, with 16 fours and four sixes off 120 balls in 164 minutes.
"Most importantly, looking at the stats, you figure you need a hundred against Pakistan. That was of course in the back of my mind and I think if you get a hundred, the team is definitely going to benefit," Lara said at the end of the day's play.
"It has been a long time. Pakistan was the only country that was missing in the list of Test hundreds and I am really happy to get it today," Lara said.
"Unfortunately again, today (yesterday), like my three hundreds this season, maybe Trinidad was fine, were not sufficient ... for what the team really required. It is the first day of a Test match and you're already in the field."
Lara joined the late Australian legend, Sir Donald Bradman on 29 Test centuries and pushed his Test aggregate to 10 617 runs, behind only Aussies Allan Border (11 174) and Steve Waugh (10 927).
"I am hoping that this form continues. The bane in my cricket has been my inconsistency in my batting and I hope that it (run-scoring) can carry on throughout the year," Lara said.
"I think that if I can muster a little more runs up in my second innings, I would feel a lot better. I think if you are going out there to bat in your second innings of a Test match after scoring a hundred, you should know the conditions and you should get something that is going to benefit the team."
But he expressed disappointment that the team did not bat out the entire first day with wickets in hand.
"I thought myself and Shiv (Chanderpaul) were really putting on a good partnership. Pakistan was on the back foot and all of sudden, it just fell apart," Lara said, noting he would accept the blame for not batting on.
"Unfortunately, I didn't carry on. I think 130 is fine but you need to carry on, especially when you are well set. Shiv didn't have the kind of support afterwards. It is not the sort of surface that you need to be all-out on the first day or early on the second day so it is a bit unfortunate."

Compliments of the Nation News


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