Brian Lara has reiterated that he's unlikely to play any one-dayers after the World Cup and hoped he could make a sizeable contribution in the matches leading up to the event. Lara also hailed Marlon Samuels, who rediscovered his sizzling touch with a fine century, and urged his side to carry on their good form and level the series at Karachi.
Samuels, who smashed his first half-century after a drought spanning close to three-and-a-half years, came in for special mention. "I 'm very happy and proud, not just satisfied," Lara said. "He has been having a tough time with the bat this year and to come out with such a magnificent century shows a lot of class and hopefully he can carry it on from here. What we need now is consistency, we've got very, very important cricket over the next six months in the one-day arena and we'll be asking him to come up trumps on a few occasions.
"It shows his potential, for him more than anybody else or the team. I think it shows what he's capable of. What he needs to do now is to put it together more often than not and now we've seen it and we're going to be asking him to produce and not necessarily that he has to produce a top performance like that but in the one-day internationals, you need everyone contributing and I think this is going to do his confidence a whole heap of good."
Lara wasn't required to do much with the bat today, after Samuels and Shivnarine Chanderpaul had dominated the bulk of the run-chase, but admitted that his form had been sketchy. "I don't mind going out with 30 to 40 runs to score each and every single game," said Lara who's failed to cross 15 the last seven times he's walked out to bat. "I'm 37 years old and I know I have to make a contribution and I'm looking forward to the next few games. I'm not sure if I am going to be playing any one-day cricket after the World Cup so I think it's coming up to a very important period for West Indies cricket and I would be looking to make my contribution."
The seven-wicket win at Multan was West Indies' first win on this tour and Lara was more than relieved after the game. "I think it has been long in coming," he said. "We should have won that game in Lahore with the Duckworth/Lewis (method) giving Pakistan 191 to get in 35 overs. It was definitely in our favour, especially with how the pitch was playing, but coming here today I thought the guys showed a lot of character being 2-0 down.
"It's been a very long tour and I thought the effort today was exceptional, we played without a couple of our main strike bowlers in Jerome Taylor [rested] and Corey Collymore [flu virus] but you saw [Daren] Powell with his best bowling figures in one-day internationals coming in and bowling really well and also Dave Mohammed in his first game bowled well. All in all I'm quite happy and proud of the performance and we must take it into Karachi to level the series.