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Wisden CricInfo staff
June 25, 2003
Rain may have played spoilsport in the first Test between Sri Lanka and West Indies at St Lucia, but Brian Lara's scintillating double-hundred livened up proceedings before the game headed for a draw. The two captains spoke to the press after the Test.
On the preparations for the Test "I have been playing six weeks of one-day cricket - seven ODIs against Australia and three against Sri Lanka - and was getting back into the Test arena without any real practice. I wasn't playing a guessing game, but I just thought we were a bit short of work in the nets with the red ball. But I think the guys were mentally ready."
On his players' performances "Wavell (Hinds) played a tremendous innings, (and) Corey Collymore (did well) with the ball. The play on the first and second day was excellent. We got a lot of confidence and a lot of self-belief from this match. Hopefully the track in Jamaica will be more bowler-friendly, and we will be able to get a result."
On playing Muttiah Muralitharan "It was important for me to get runs, and Murali had to bowl a number of overs to get his wickets. Some of our batsmen have to adapt very quickly in the second Test match, because he is going to be coming at us strong again, along with (Chaminda) Vaas. It was a great contest out there; on many occasions, I felt I found myself wanting when he was bowling, and I wasn't all there. It was nice to tough it out and get some runs."
On his double-hundred "I enjoyed the innings, but unfortunately it came at a time when there was no result and the effect of it was not felt. I'd like another one in Jamaica, but I don't know what's going to happen there."
On the playing surface "The only negative was that we played at a new venue, and honestly I feel we could have done with a better pitch that was a little bit more favourable to the bowlers. Both teams would have liked that."
On batting records "I pay no attention to records, but if you are in your 30s and keep doing well over the last 10 years, records are going to be popping up in front of you. I don't who has the most runs; I just want to do well for West Indies and stay as fit as possible and play many Test matches and earn my selection by my share of runs."
On Sri Lanka's performance "We wanted to get a formidable score after winning the toss. But 354 was just not good enough on this track. We want to rectify the mistakes we made in this Test and come back strongly. I am disappointed the way we played this Test. We could have had more than 400 runs, we didn't bowl well, and our fielding was very poor. We dropped a few chances at the beginning. Had we taken those, it would have been a different story. We didn't play to our potential. We need to pick ourselves up."
On Brian Lara "We have a lot of respect for Brian and his team. It is just that he is batting very well at the moment. We need to get him out as early as possible in the second Test if we are to make an impression. He is a brilliant player, and there are no two ways about it."
On Sri Lanka's bowling "Vaas and Murali bowled their hearts out. It is just that our back-up bowlers didn't do well. We need to discuss a few things before we pick the next team. We have a few youngsters whom we want to give an opportunity in the second Test. Here, we underbowled Lokuarachchci a bit because there were two left-handers going. After that, we didn't want to bowl him and undermine his confidence."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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