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West Indies v South Africa
Grenada, 10 April 2007

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Brian Lara
Critics will call for Lara's head after his side's World Cup debacle
Brian Lara apologised to West Indies fans after his side's 67-run defeat to South Africa virtually ensured their elimination from the World Cup.

It was the hosts' fourth successive Super 8s loss and they now need a miracle to make the semi-finals.

"We're all disappointed and we are very sorry for the way we have performed in this World Cup," said Lara.

"It's a huge blow not to reach the semi-finals. We must play with pride and character in the next two games."

West Indies have two matches left, against Bangladesh and England in Barbados on 19 and 21 April respectively.

The guys are really down in the dressing room, it's a really quiet place

West Indies skipper Brian Lara

The latest defeat will increase calls for Lara, in his third spell at the helm of the team, to step down as skipper before the impending tour of England.

Lara won the toss on Tuesday and put South Africa into bat before watching helplessly as South Africa rattled up 356-4.

AB de Villiers hit 146 while Jacques Kallis (81), Herschelle Gibbs (61) and Mark Boucher (52) also put the West Indies bowlers to the sword.

The West Indies reached 279-9 in reply with only Ramnaresh Sarwan (92) getting beyond 50.

"We knew we had to win today, but things didn't work out," added Lara.

"But all credit to South Africa. They came back from a defeat against Bangladesh and played really well. Chasing 356 was always going to be tough.

"I can't fault the guys. They tried their best but we didn't come up with trumps. The guys are really down in the dressing room, it's a really quiet place.

"There are a lot of sad faces but we have to pick ourselves up and show that we can host a good World Cup."


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