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26 Mar 2006 12:39
A classy 83 from Brian Lara and an unbeaten 70 from Runako Morton carried the West Indies to 256 for four against New Zealand before further rain brought an early end to the second day of the third and final cricket Test in Napier on Sunday.
Only 78 overs have been possible in the first two days, and with more rain forecast over coming days, the chance of an outright decision is becoming remote.
But there has been enough time in the middle for Lara to display his magic after failing in his four previous innings on what will be his last tour of New Zealand.
He rediscovered his classic, flowing stroke-play and as much as New Zealand tried to stack the off-side with fielders, Lara’s placement was too good as he cracked 12 boundaries.
But as he was marching towards his century the gremlins struck again.
He went to pull Astle, but a bottom-edge cannoned into his legs then on to the stumps, and Lara walked from the field to a standing ovation after his 107 ball stand.
His dismissal was followed by the runout of Shivnarine Chanderpaul in bizarre circumstances which saw the West Indies captain and Runako Morton at the same end.
At stumps, Morton was not out 70, his second half-century in consecutive Tests, with Dwayne Bravo on 22.
Chanderpaul was on two when Morton guided a shot to mid-off and set off for what should have been a comfortable single, until Chanderpaul backpedalled and both ground their bats at the bowler’s end when Daniel Vettori broke the stumps at the other end.
A visibly angry Morton slammed his bat into the ground and started to walk when he was initially given out.
But, after a lengthy deliberation and numerous television replays showing the comical sight of two batsmen stretching for the same crease, Chanderpaul was ruled out.
After resuming the day at 95 for one, after the rain-shortened first day, the West Indies put on 129 runs and lost three wickets in an extended morning session, and added another 32 runs in the 13 overs available after lunch.
Daren Ganga was the first wicket to fall in the morning, bowled by a full length Shane Bond delivery for 30. - Sapa-AFP
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