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The Best of Tests: Brian Lara's assault takes West Indies to thrilling one-wicket victory against Australia

West Indies' Brian Lara
©Reuters

Test cricket mirrors life. The ebbs and flows of the format have given birth to some of the most breath-taking cricketing epics. A Cricket World Series, The Best of Tests, highlights the finest of these spectacles.

 

Match Summary

 

Australia 490 & 146

West Indies 329 & 311/9

Result - West Indies won by 1 wicket

Player of the Match - Brian Lara

 

 

It was the time when West Indies were losing more than they were winning and their skipper Brian Lara was under tremendous pressure.

The Prince of Trinidad answered the critics with a classic come-from-behind victory against Australia in the third Test on the Australia tour of West Indies in 1999.

West Indies had been whitewashed in South Africa and had started with a big defeat against Australia in the first Test. In the third match of the series in Bridgetown, Australia had piled up 490 runs in the first innings on the back of a 199 from Steve Waugh and 104 from Ricky Ponting.

Despite a century from Sherwin Campbell, West Indies were bowled out for 329. Five wickets from Courtney Walsh saw Australia bundle out for just 146 in the third innings. Still, West Indies were set a mountainous target of 308.

At 254 for 8, West Indies were still more than 50 runs behind and an Australian victory looked imminent. But, West Indies still had hope with Brian Lara at the crease.

The captain played sensible cricket by minimising the risk. He nudged the ball into the gaps for singles while punishing the loose deliveries in a 50+ partnership with Curtly Ambrose.

Once Ambrose was dismissed and Courtney Walsh came out to the crease, it was just a matter of one ball as Walsh was notorious for his batting (in)ability.

Walsh somehow survived five balls and Lara brought up the win with a trademark cover drive off Jason Gillespie which crashed into the boundary as West Indies registered a memorable one-wicket victory.

 

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