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November 26, 2005
Brian Lara has spent his cricketing life exciting fans with spectacular deeds and he marked his step into Test run-scoring's unknown with an extraordinary single. A swept boundary moved Allan Border past Sunil Gavaskar's record in 1993 and Lara used a similar method when he bravely shuffled across his stumps to paddle Glenn McGrath to fine-leg for a single, his 214th run of the innings and his 11,175th over 15 years.
The beautiful ground rose again and Australia's players formed a casual line to offer their congratulations as Lara's team-mates stood with hands high in the dressing room. Lara was pleased but calm - and probably tired after making 202 on day one - and hugged Daren Powell before accepting the opposition's compliments.
"It's a great feeling," Lara said at lunch. "With stuff like this you'd like to do it in front of your home crowd but it's special with Allan Border being an Australian. The reception this morning was excellent and it's really touching to be appreciated by a country I've had great battles with throughout my career."
Before play Lara said the record was "testimony to the longevity I've had in the game". "I've had my ups and downs but I've stuck it out," he told Nine. "And at 36 I'm looking forward to passing AB."
Lara had watched Border add to his tally as a youngster at Queens Park Oval in his native Trinidad and was impressed with his style of play. "I've seen him defy the West Indies fast bowlers and I enjoyed watching him," he said. The world has enjoyed watching Lara.
Border, who missed the innings to watch his son in an under-10s match, was quick to pay tribute to his successor and said Lara was a "very worthy" record holder. "I played against Brian when he made his century in Sydney in the season of 1992-93 and I would rank him as one of the best three batsmen in the world," Border said. "I have had the pleasure of seeing him play a lot of cricket and there is no doubt he is a genuine genius. I am sure I am not the only Australian who is pleased to see him hold this record."
Border's moment of history was sealed on February 25, 1993 in Christchurch when he hit Dipak Patel for a boundary as his team-mates huddled in the dressing-room under blankets. Border fell 12 runs short of a century and Lara was also disappointed when he stepped away to McGrath and lost his off stump. It was a minor blemish and November 26, 2005 will always be Lara's day to treasure.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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