Learn from this victory, Lara tells teammates

Published: Monday, May 22, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Kingston:West Indies captain Brian Lara wants his side to learn from their sensational one-run victory in the second One-day International against India on Saturday at Sabina Park for future use in tight matches.

Dwayne Bravo bowled Indian left-hander Yuvraj Singh with the third-last ball of the match to hand West Indies a heart-stopping victory that levels the five-match series at 1-1, after India had clinched Thursday's first ODI by five wickets with one ball to spare.

Against the backdrop of West Indies letting several matches slip from their grasp in recent times, Lara felt his teammates should always mentally refer to this victory whenever they find themselves losing focus in tight matches in the future.

"What is the good thing about West Indies - and we have seen it even in these two ODIs - is that we do get into positions to win matches," Lara told reporters after the match.

"Unfortunately, we have either tended to relax, or throw the opportunity away. In this match, we did not, and I think it was a true show of character from the guys, even in Thursday's game when in the last stride India got up to win.

"This is the key that is missing in our game even in the Test matches. We find ourselves performing well for a certain amount of time, and we cannot close it out. We are going to try as much as possible to bottle what happened to ensure we use it in the future."

Lara described the result that ended India's record sequence of 17 successive ODI victories chasing targets as an important win for his side.

"The fact that we played good cricket [in the preceding ODI series] against Zimbabwe, and we were improving, we were experimenting, sometimes you think, when will it all come together'," he said.

"Now we have to continue, and show what we were doing, step by step, each single match against Zimbabwe leading up this series was for a purpose. I think it is important that we carry on from this point in the remaining matches in St. Kitts and Trinidad and Tobago."

Lara lauded Bravo for the temerity to bowl the lethal delivery - on the advice of Chris Gayle - that befuddled Yuvraj and clinched the result for West Indies which sparked massive celebrations around the ground.

"It was Chris' idea and Bravo has it in his armoury, and has the confidence to do it at that stage," Lara said.

"To see a guy who had an average day - he did not make any runs, he bowled three overs before this and did not do too well - but he had something up his sleeve and is an amazing player to have in your side.

"You would like to know that you have six or seven guys in your side that can bowl in an ODI, and three or four that can bowl at the death'.

"In this match, you saw Chris Gayle bowl the 49th, Bravo bowled the 50th, and you would hope to see a guy with the pace of Fidel Edwards can do it as well, so you do not want to depend on one or two players.

"Hopefully, you will have a bunch of players and you will use them. I had the option of using Edwards or Bravo, but the fact that Bravo did a very good job on Thursday was the deciding factor in this match."

The third ODI will be played on Tuesday at Warner Park in Basseterre, St. Kitts, which will be staging its first ODI, and the series concludes on Friday and Sunday at Port of Spain's Queen's Park Oval.

The ODIs will be followed by a four-Test series with matches at St. John's, Gros Islet, Basseterre which will also stage a Test for the first time, and Kingston.

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