Winning and losing is part of the game. The fans and cricket geeks might accept the loss of their favourite team, but it is difficult for the participants who have toiled entire lives to hone their skills to accept the defeat easily. They go to lengths to swing the course of the contest in their favour. Sometimes players even try to play with the psychology by sledging the opposition.
One such instance happened with Brian Lara in the 2003 Home Series of West Indies against mighty Australia.
Already three down in the Test series, West Indies were playing to save their honour. Batting first, the Australians were skittled for 240 on board as a seven-wicket haul by Jermaine Lawson staggered their plans at St. John’s.
In response, the home side threw away three early wickets for 73 runs. Coming in to bat at number five, Lara was welcomed with some virulent words by Matthew Hayden before the former slashed the first ball of Brett Lee for a flat six over deep square leg.
The close-in fielders, in particular Steve Waugh, saw this as an opportune moment to sledge Lara and distract the latter from smashing runs. The chit-chat went for quite some time until Waugh used some acrid words against the maestro.
Lara, who was in no mood to listen, nudged as close as he could to the Aussie skipper in an intimidating way before the on-field umpire David Shepherd intervened and separated the two.
Lara started breathing fire and responded in his characteristic way with the bat in Andy Bichel’s over. The strokemaker hit Bichel for three successive fours over deep cover, deep point and deep mid-wicket.
Here’s the video:
Brian Lara turns 52 today! 🎉
One of the most riveting passages of play i've seen
Lara walks out to some 'words' from Hayden, Lara responds with a scorching 6 1st ball
Steve Waugh comes into silly mid on, no helmet, to have more 'words', Lara responds with 3 unbelievable shots pic.twitter.com/nDFI6OFTkW
— Rob Moody (@robelinda2) May 2, 2021
Lara scored 68 runs as the Windies levelled the score of Australia’s first innings. In the second innings, the Antipodeans consolidated an improbable 417 runs on board before the Caribbean side set up a record-breaking fourth inning chase and went on to win the encounter.