July 15, 2000

Lara and England come to grips

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Riverside, 30 overs: West Indies 96 for three (Lara 52, Hinds 20)

Brian Lara, although not in peak form, produced a fighting fifty for West Indies after more fine bowling by Alan Mullally had given England an early advantage in their match at the Riverside Ground at Chester-le-Street.

NatWest Series

England's early strike

England soon drew blood, as Wavell Hinds, promoted to open, was trapped lbw for 1 by a full-length delivery from Gough in the second over; West Indies 5 for one. Lara came in next, but did not appear at all comfortable at first; Campbell too struggled, beaten several times by Gough. Gough and Caddick again bowled accurately and well, with a bit of movement on a pitch with a good degree of bounce and pace.

The batsmen were weathering the attack quite competently, if not altogether comfortably, when Mullally got a ball top lift more than Campbell expected, taking the shoulder of the bat for White at backward point to run in and take the catch. Campbell scored 14, and West Indies were 41 for two. Mullally struck again in his next over, as Adams (0) pushed tentatively outside off stump without being behind the line, and played the ball on to his stumps off the inside edge; 43 for three.

Lara settles

Lara tried to bolster a sagging scoring rate, but never looked the master; on 28 he drove Ealham straight for four, the ball just evading the bowler's upstretched hands, and in the same over midwicket just failed to hold on to a hard overhead chance. However he fought his way to a determined fifty, and with good support from Hinds West Indies kept themselves in the hunt for a challenging total.