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March 12, 2004
Simon Jones was a happy man after capping his comeback with the most prized wicket in the world, as West Indies closed on 311 for 9 on the opening day of the first Test in Jamaica. "It's great to be back playing Test cricket," said Jones. "Taking Brian Lara's wicket was a great feeling. It's what I've been waiting for for the last 16 months.
"The wicket was a real confidence booster," added Jones. "For the first two sessions I was very nervous, but I found my feet, relaxed more and just bowled. Nine wickets on the first day can't be bad. The boys are happy. We all worked hard and you can't ask for any more."
Lara was ambivalent about his side's performance, but was full of praise for West Indies' centurion, Devon Smith. "It was a see-saw day," he admitted, "and is probably now evenly-matched. England were on top early on, we rallied, but the way we collapsed at the end was a bit disappointing.
"But I'm happy for young Smith. I can see the starting of a long career. He and [Ryan] Hinds showed their quality and proved we have a good batting line up all the way to Ridley Jacobs at No. 7."
"My century was a great feeling," beamed Smith, who attributed his success to the work he had been doing with Sir Garry Sobers. "Someone in the top order had to stick around and I managed to do it. My work with Sir Garry before the game certainly helped me. He improved my technique and concentration, and that helped me today."
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