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Lara lifts WI to robust 312/4

Bridgetown: Brian Lara hammered a sparkling 116 and Chris Gayle 94 as the West Indies posted a massive 312 for four against Sri Lanka in the second one-day International at the Kensington Oval here on Sunday.

Skipper Lara, who survived a confident caught-behind appeal when on nought, went on to smash two sixes and eight fours in his 17th century to brighten his teamís chances of squaring the three-match series.

Sri Lanka won the opening game by 55 runs at the same venue on Saturday.

Lara shared the limelight with Gayle, who struck two sixes and 12 fours, to put the West Indies on course for the highest total at this venue after the hosts had elected to bat.

Gayle put on 137 with Lara to equal the West Indiesí best for the second wicket against Sri Lanka in 38 one-dayers.

Lara, batting at his regular number three position, also completed 1,000 runs in 22 matches against Sri Lanka as he swept, pulled and drove powerfully during his 106-ball knock.

Marlon Samuels also made merry after Lara and Gayle had set the stage for the closing-overs fireworks as he scored an unbeaten 36-ball 56, including 21 in an over from leg-spinner Upul Chandana.

Lara and Samuels put on 109 for the fourth wicket as the hosts plundered 115 in the closing 10 overs.

Sri Lanka packed their team with five spinners, but none could contain runs as Lara and Gayle gave the spectators plenty to cheer about with their rich stroke-play.

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