Lara beats the flu to score hundred
West Indians 373 for 6 (Devon Smith 142, Lara 113) v MCC
Brian Lara overcome a bout of flu to score a quickfire century for the West Indians in their tour match against MCC at Arundel. Lara raced to 113 from 105 balls, including 18 fours and two sixes as he and Devon Smith, who also hit a ton, put on a hundred stand to boost the total to 373 for 6 at the end of the first day.
Lara had been feeling under the weather for the last two days, and he was forced to retire after scoring his hundred against an MCC attack consisting of Matthew Hoggard and Simon Jones, two England bowlers making their way back from injury and hoping to play in next week's first Test at Lord's.
Hoggard was the more economical of the two, taking 2 for 28, but it was Jones who made the breakthrough when Chris Gayle edged him to Alastair Cook at first slip, who had fumbled a similar chance off the same batsman only two balls earlier. That broke a stand of 90 with Gayle gone for 43, and Dwayne Bravo was then stumped by Riki Wessels off Min Patel's left-arm spin and the West Indians had stalled at 99 for 2 after their good start.
However, Lara and Smith stepped on the gas. Smith reached his half-century from 89 balls, and then accelerated to three figures as the 100 stand with Lara came up in only 20 overs. Lara slammed strokes all round the ground, but did have one life when, on 81, he was dropped by Sven Koenig at backward point off Charl Willoughby.
Lara stayed in the dressing room after tea to receive treatment and Hoggard then struck twice in quick succession with the wickets of Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Dwayne Smith. Hoggard trapped Chanderpaul leg before for a four-ball duck, and Smith was caught behind for 2. John Stephenson, captaining the MCC side, removed Devon Smith for an impressive 142 before Carlton Baugh smacked an entertaining 38.