Batting legend Brian Lara still has what it takes to decimate a bowling attack even at 47 years old. The iconic left-hander put on a spectacle for fans at the Barrackpore Recreation Ground yesterday with a sensational knock of 67 off 24 balls to lead the Lara XI to a four-wicket victory over a Ganga XI at the annual Daren Ganga Foundation (DGF) charity match.
In a match featuring several present and former West Indies stars such as Lendl Simmons, Nicholas Pooran, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Daren Ganga and Dinanath Ramnarine, it was really no surprise who would be the star of the show.
Chasing 179 for victory after Ganga’s men posted a daunting 179 for seven from their 20 overs, the Lara XI went in hot pursuit of the victory target. Lara led the way with his whirlwind knock which featured five sixes and seven fours.
Chanderpaul, who still represents Guyana in First Class cricket at age 42, was also among the runs with 53 not out off 38 balls with six sixes. With the scores tied in the 19th over, Chanderpaul hit Ganga for the maximum to win the match in 18.3 overs.
Ramnarine, the former West Indies leg-spinner and ex-president of the West Indies Players Association (WIPA), was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets for 25 runs from four overs and had the added bonus of dismissing Lara. Ganga, celebrating his 38th birthday as well, finished with two wickets for 16 runs from his three overs.
Ganga, who won the toss and decided to bat first, had earlier given his team a positive start.
The ex-Windies opener struck a positive 48 off 31 balls, glittered with two sixes and two fours.
He was ably supported by an aggressive Nicholas Pooran who slammed 31 off 16 balls, including three sixes and one four. Surprisingly keeping a lid on things was Chanderpaul who took two wickets for 10 runs from three overs.
Eearlier in the day Barrackpore United faced Victoria United in another charity match. All proceeds on the day go to the Daren Ganga Foundation Scholarship Programme.
Summarised Scores: GANGA XI 178/7 (20 overs) – Daren Ganga 48, Nicholas Pooran 31, Shivnarine Chanderpaul 2/10 vs LARA XI (18.3 overs) – Brian Lara 67, Chanderpaul 53 not out; Ganga 2/16.