Stars converge to celebrate Sir Garry
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):
A galaxy of former West Indies stars converged on Kensington Oval for a celebrity game here Thursday night, to mark the 80th birthday of cricket legend Sir Garfield Sobers.
Thousands of spectators turned up to witness the contest that saw the Sir Garry XI defeat Brian Lara's XI by 10 wickets in a Twenty20 affected by rain.
Sir Garry, Barbados' only living national hero, is considered the finest cricketer to have played the game.
Lara, a former West Indies captain and widely considered the best batsman of his generation, joined the likes of Sir Curtly Ambrose, Courtney Walsh, Carl Hooper, Collis King, Ottis Gibson, along with Sri Lankan great Arjuna Rantunga in paying tribute to Sir Garry.
Sent in, Lara's XI rallied to 156 for seven off their 20 overs, with Lara top-scoring with 41 and Combined Campuses and Colleges' Aaron Jones chipping in with 40. The 47-year-old Lara unfurled some vintage strokes on both sides of the wicket in a knock that lasted 35 balls and included five fours and a six.
He put on 49 for the second wicket with former Barbados and West Indies opener Philo Wallace (19) and added a further 24 for the third with Jones.
Lara was dismissed in dramatic fashion, bowled by West Indies Women leg-spinner Shaquana Quintyne. He blocked the first three deliveries of Quintyne's opening over before dragging on the fourth.
In reply, Sir Garry's XI were dominant as they chased down a revised target of 92 off 10 overs to win with 11 deliveries remaining.
They were propelled by former West Indies batsman Dale Richards, who slammed an unbeaten 59 from 28 balls, while Hooper finished 27 not out off 21 deliveries.
Richards, who played three Tests and eight ODIs, hammered six fours and four sixes as Hooper opted for the supporting role with two boundaries and a six.
The affair, attended by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and fast-bowling legend Sir Wes Hall, featured a cultural display including dance and stilt-walking, which depicted the life and exploits of Sir Garry.