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CARIBBEAN cricket- Digicel second Test against South Africa.

Makhaa Ntini celebrating Donovan Pagon's wicket. Ntini has taken 4/59.

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad – Brian Lara made a storybook return to the West Indies team yesterday, holding the home team’s innings together witha majestic unbeaten 159 that lifted his side to 281 for six at the end of the opening day of the Digicel second Test against South Africa.

Turning down an offer to play in the drawn first Test while three other players were ruled ineligible because of a sponsorship dispute, the former captain belied nine weeks without competitive cricket and saved the Caribbean team from complete collapse on a Queen’s Park Oval pitch noted for increasingly variable bounce.

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- Sunday 10, April-2005 - by HAYDN GILL

South Africa captain Graham Smith (background) celebrating the big prize, after Brian Lara is bowled.
AT QUEEN’S PARK OVAL – For half-hour yesterday morning, the mercurial Brian Lara was as hot as a raging fire in downtown Port-of-Spain.

For the remainder of the day, the West Indies only seldom reached boiling point again.

While Lara was blazing away when firefighters were trying to control the flames on the busy Frederick Street in the heart of the capital city, later in the day his bowlers could only provide the occasional sparks on the second day of the second Digicel Test against South Africa.

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