Unheralded West Indies middle-order batsman Larry Gomes has rated his century against India at Queens Park Oval in Trinidad and Tobago as his best.
Gomes, 66, played 60 Tests for the West Indies between June 1976 when he made his debut against England and March 1987 when he played his last Test against New Zealand. He scored 3171 at a decent average of 39.63, amassing nine centuries and 13 half-centuries along the way.
However, his knock of 123 against India, he says, was perhaps his best.
“The one that stands out for me would be the one in Trinidad. If you remember, we were three wickets down with one run with Gordon, Desmond and Viv back in the pavilion, and then I came in and together with Clive and we put on 200-plus run for the fourth wicket. I think that hundred stands out because we had to build back that innings and we got a respectable total,” said Gomes who now lives in Canada while speaking on Mason and Guest in Barbados on Tuesday night.
“That was more refreshing.”
In the match played from March 11-16, Gomes scored (123) and Captain Clive Lloyd (143) as the pair shared in a stand of 237. Gomes batted for 446 minutes and faced 333 balls in his obdurate knock that included only 12 boundaries.
Jeffrey Dujon (31), Michael Holding 24 and Joel Garner, an unbeaten 21, helped the West Indies to 394 in reply to India’s first innings of 175.
The match ended in a draw as Mohinder Armanath (117) set the stage for strong Indian second innings that saw Kapil Dev smash 100 from just 95 balls with 13 fours and three sixes as India piled up 469 for 7. Yasphal Sharma contributed an even 50 to the mammoth total.
Gomes took 1 for 45 as the West Indies fast bowlers toiled on the docile Queens Park Oval pitch.
Gomes said he will always remember his first Test century. He scored that one against Australia at the Bourda Oval in Guyana in 1978. Jamaica’s Basil ‘Shotgun’ Williams also scored a century in that match.
Batting first the West Indies scored 205. Gomes scored only 4 as Jeff Thompson and Wayne Clark taking four wickets each.
Australia replied with 286, their captain Bobby Simpson top-scoring with 67.
Batting a second time Gomes scored 101, Williams 100 and Sew Shivnarine 63 as the West Indies posted a total of 439.
However, Graeme Wood (126) and Craig Serjeant (124) laid steered Australia to 362 for 7 and a three-wicket victory over the West Indies.
Always tell someone how you feel because opportunities are lost in the blink of an eye but regret can last a lifetime.