Cape Town: Rating his innings as his best One-day century, West Indies star batsman Brian Lara said his knock in the opening match of the World Cup did justice to the hard work he had put in during the last two months. "I have really worked hard and it's nice to come out and get some runs," said Lara who turned around the fortunes of West Indies with a majestic century knock in a 3- run victory against South Africa last night.
Lara, who returned to international cricket after a four-month injury lay-off, survived a first ball scare when a flying Jacues Kallis could only manage to touch an outside edge soaring over the second slip. "A first-ball nought would not have done justice to the work I have done over the last few months," said Lara who was declared man-of-the-match for his splendid knock of 116 which was studded with 12 fours and two sixes. "This ranks as my number one international century," he said dismissing suggestions that his aim was to be recognised as the best batsman in the world. "That's not important.
I just want to ensure that the West Indies has the best of me." Coming at the fall of first wicket, Lara put on 102 runs for the third wicket with Shivnarine Chanderpaul before adding a further 96 with his captain Carl Hooper. "We lost two early wickets which set us back. Myself and Chanderpaul had to sort of lay the foundations so that the guys who came in later on could build on it," he said.
"I thought Powell and Sarwan showed great quality for the future and in them we have two tremendous young players," Lara said referring to the two batsmen who played explosive innings in the slog overs to propel West Indies to a total of 278 for five. "I want to play with a side that wants to win and these youngsters want to win."