Lara shines as cricket roy­alty raises money for bushfire re­lief

Muscat Daily - - SPORTS -

Melbourne, Aus­tralia - Brian Lara showed he still has what it takes with a stylish 30 not out as crick­et­ing roy­alty helped raise money to aid Aus­tralian bushfire re­lief in a char­ity match on Sun­day.

The West In­dian leg­end stroked a se­ries of lofted cover drives and straight drives, in­clud­ing two sixes, be­fore re­tir­ing to give an­other bats­man a chance in a star-stud­ded Bushfire Bash at Melbourne's Junc­tion Oval.

His cap­tain Ricky Ponting, com­ing in af­ter Justin Langer was out, also hit 26 as his team made 104 for five from their ten overs.

Adam Gilchrist smacked a six off the first ball in the run chase be­fore be­ing knocked over, then Shane Wat­son slammed 30 from nine balls, with Wasim Akram be­ing pun­ished.

But de­spite a valiant ef­fort from the Gilchrist XI, Ponting's side won by one run.

"All the play­ers have had a ball. They are all say­ing why couldn't we play more," said Ponting. "Well done to ev­ery­one in­volved. Shar­ing a dress­ing room with guys I spent 25 years with."

Af­ter the game, Cricket Aus­tralia tweeted that "thanks to the in­cred­i­ble gen­eros­ity from Aus­tralia and around the globe, we've raised over Aus$7.7mn (US$5.13mn) to sup­port com­mu­ni­ties and fam­i­lies im­pacted by the re­cent bush­fires".

Fundrais­ing has been on­go­ing since the blazes be­gan in Septem­ber. They left at least 30 peo­ple dead and thou­sands of homes de­stroyed, with many of the fires only brought un­der con­trol in re­cent days af­ter tor­ren­tial rain swept across east­ern Aus­tralia.

Brian Lara

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