On this day in 1999: Brian Lara’s phenomenal knock takes West Indies out of danger

Test cricket is a format that tests the technique of any player at the topmost level. This is the format where a player can show his class with grit and determination. However, sometimes a batsman has to play a counter-attacking knock to release the pressure building on his team. It otherwise becomes very difficult to recover from the early collapse in a match. This was what former West Indies great Brian Lara did on this day i.e. 14th March against Australia in the Jamaica Test match 1999.

The Aussie team had scored 256 runs in their first innings with the help of a wonderful century from captain Steve Waugh. Courtney Walsh took 4 wickets and Pedro Collins picked 3 wickets for the hosts. Mark Waugh too contributed for the visitors scoring 67 runs off 117 balls.

In response to this total, the home side were in deep trouble as they lost 4 wickets for just 34 runs. At this point in time, the West Indies needed some magic to recover from early blows, and Brian Lara stood tall for them. He smashed a brilliant double century for them and remained unbeaten on 212 runs by the end of the second day of the Test.

Lara shared a partnership of more than 300 runs for the fifth wicket with Jimmy Adams to put the team ahead in the contest. On the third day, Lara was dismissed after scoring one more run i.e. 213 runs off 344 balls. He hit 29 fours and 3 sixes in his magnificent innings. Jimmy Adams missed out on a ton as he fell for 94 runs in 252 balls including 8 fours.

West Indies posted 431 runs in their first innings taking a big lead of 175 runs. In the second innings, the Aussies were bowled out for 177 runs as they succumbed to Nehemiah Perry and Courtney Walsh. This meant that West Indies had to chase just 3 runs to win the Test, which they did easily claiming victory by 10 wickets. Nehemiah Perry took 5 wickets for 70 runs in his 26 overs. Brian Lara was adjudged the player of the match for his glorious knock.