Brian Lara made a sparkling 56 as MCC cruised to a seven-wicket win over Hertfordshire in their Lord’s Bicentenary Anniversary Day clash Sunday at Lord’s --the Home of Cricket. Lara, batting at number three, was part of a fine performance from the MCC top order as they chased down 199 in 32.3 of their 40 allotted overs.
Openers Jonathan Wileman and Daryl Mitchell put on a fine opening stand of 104 to set MCC off to a perfect start. Wileman was the standout player in their partnership, making 67, while Worcestershire batsman Mitchell made a robust 64, reaching his half century with a six into the Mound Stand.
But it was Lara who stole the show with a wonderful performance, unfurling a range of vintage strokes in a knock which spanned just 36 balls and 38 minutes. The spinners were swept and glided behind square, or dispatched back over their heads with some nimble footwork, while the 45-year-old treated Hertfordshire’s seamers with distain.
He eventually fell with fewer than ten required for victory, receiving a well-deserved standing ovation from the crowd as he returned to the Pavilion, leaving ex-South Africa batsman Dale Benkenstein to finish things off for the home team.
Former Ireland captain Trent Johnston was the pick of the MCC bowlers earlier in the day, taking three wickets for 33 in his eight-over spell after Hertforshire’s won the toss and elected to bat.
Ex MCC Young Cricketer Jamie Southgate was the standout batsman for Hertfordshire, making 56 before he was dismissed by Mitchell—hitting nine fours in his knock. He put on 86 in partnership with Ben Frazer for the fifth wicket. as Herts posted what looked like a reasonable score.
Lara will be in action again at Lord’s next month in the next major Bicentenary celebration, when he plays for Sachin Tendulkar’s MCC team against Rest of the World.