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April 26, 2012
Shivnarine Chanderpaul has become the 10th batsman and the second West Indian to pass 10,000 runs in Test matches, reaching the mark on the fourth day of the third Test against Australia at Windsor Park in Dominica.
In keeping with much of his career, Chanderpaul passed 10,000 in the midst of a desperate Caribbean fight in the fourth innings to stave off defeat at the hands of the Australians on a deteriorating pitch, moving forward from his inimitable stance to push a delivery from Michael Clarke wide of mid-on and go to 14 for his innings.
After the day's play, Chanderpaul said getting past the milestone was a target he had set himself. "I have been batting well and spending a lot of time at the crease, and to reach 10,000 Test runs is something special for me. It was one of the goals I set myself and I believe I have reaped for reward for the hard work I put in over the years.
"When I go to bat, I know I have a job to do for the team and the people of the West Indies. Test cricket is the ultimate form of the game and this is where you want to perform and give your best. I will keep striving for more."
Chanderpaul reached the milestone in his 140th Test, emulating Brian Lara's feat of also passing 10,000 for the West Indies. He was congratulated warmly by the Roseau crowd and also by Australia's fielders, who all applauded once the single was taken. The 10,000th run also served to take his Test match batting average back above 50.
Earlier in the series Chanderpaul had surpassed Lara as the highest run-scorer of all West Indian batsmen at Kensington Oval in Barbados, and said at the time that he had always taken particular satisfaction from runs made against Australia, as they are always hard-earned.
"Always a tough, tough opposition and you always have to fight and it is always well to do good against them," he said. "There are always things at the back of your mind because you always want to do well.
"Against an opposition like Australia if you're doing well against them you know the world is watching. When you go against them you have to bring your A game. You can't just walk out and decide that you can play anyhow against them. You have to step up."
At 37, Chanderpaul has witnessed many barren years in West Indies cricket, but has expressed optimism that the team is showing signs of significant improvement under the captaincy of Darren Sammy and the coaching of Ottis Gibson. This has encouraged him to prolong his career, having debuted against England in his home country of Guyana in March 1994.
"We all can see it, the guys are getting better, the younger players are coming through," Chanderpaul had said in Barbados. "That's what we've been aiming for over the years, you want to see the younger players come through. Now we're seeing it and that's the future, we have to plan that way."
Chanderpaul is doing his best to support this development with his bat, again leading the averages and aggregates against Australia. Their coach Mickey Arthur offered generous praise to a batsman he had first seen on the 1998-99 West Indies tour of South Africa.
"Shiv's been outstanding all series. He's been quite brilliant really. He's certainly thwarted our bowlers. He's shown why he's got 10,000 runs in Test cricket," Arthur said. "Very uncomplicated technique even though it looks very weird on the eye. He's been outstanding - to get him right at the end of the day has just lifted our dressing room hugely.
"I first saw him when he was very young. He toured South Africa and he looked a very, very good player then. In my last series that I had with South Africa as coach against the West Indies I think Shiv got a hundred in every first innings so he was well on track. In this series he got a hundred in Barbados, 94 in Trinidad and runs again here. I've just seen so much of him and can't help but admire the application and the desire to keep scoring runs. You've got to marvel at that - a fantastic achievement."
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets hereFeeds: Daniel Brettig
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Plays of the Day from the second ODI between England and India, in Cardiff
Plays of the day from the third ODI between England and India at Trent Bridge