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May 19, 2010
Ryan McLaren is determined to rise to even greater heights on South Africa's tour of the Caribbean after taking 5 for 19 in the first Twenty20 against West Indies. McLaren returned the second-best figures in Twenty20 international history as he bowled South Africa to a 13-run victory in Antigua.
"It's a good way to start off the tour having practised indoors and not outdoors for the last few weeks," McLaren said after the match. "But it's only the first day, and there's plenty more cricket to come, so hopefully, I can better this performance. We all know the nature of T20 cricket - the bowler is always up against it.
"You can take five wickets one day, and the next day, take a thumping, but I enjoyed it. It was not an easy day for the batters, and you had to graft pretty hard. Playing shots was not easy, and there was a strong wind, so there were a lot of things you had to take into consideration.
"It was obviously nice to start with a win. This was the most important thing for us. We have worked really hard over the last few days here in Antigua, had a few discussions, the energy has been good around the team, and a lot of new faces have come in. We want to have a good tour of the Caribbean, so success in this match was very important to getting us off on the right foot."
The series could be important for the confidence of both teams after they failed to reach the semi-finals of the World Twenty20. The two Twenty20s are followed by five ODIs and three Tests and the West Indies captain Chris Gayle said there was plenty of room for improvement from his men.
"It was a disappointing start for us," Gayle said. "We wanted to put our dismal performance in the T20 World Cup behind us, but this was not the best way to do it, and was not the best start to the series.
"We still have a match on Thursday, so we have to pick ourselves up. This is no time for pointing fingers. We have a lot of corrections to make out there, and we have to return to the drawing board to try and get the best out of the players."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.