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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 July, 2004, 20:30 GMT 21:30 UK
Lara pays tribute to Kiwis
Lara was disappointed by the fielding performance

West Indies suffered a 107-run NatWest Series final defeat to New Zealand but captain Brian Lara admitted "the better team won the tournament".

"They were unbeaten in the preliminary round, they came into the final very confident and they deserved to win," said Lara after a rain-hit match.

"We told the guys it was really important to lay the foundation and try to accumulate runs in the middle.

"But wickets went periodically and that put us on the back foot."

Lara pointed to his side's fielding as a key reason for New Zealand making 266.

"We bowled really well in the last 10/15 overs to get New Zealand down to 260-odd but, in all, our fielding let us down and we lost a couple of early wickets," he said.

However, he believes the team is now well-set for the forthcoming four-Test series against England.

"A lot of guys got experience in English conditions for the first time," Lara added.

"The weather's been a bit cold and some of them suffered but it augers well for us and we're looking forward to the Test series."

Opening batsman Chris Gayle was voted the fans' player of the series after hitting 272 runs through the group matches, although he added just four in the final.

"Throughout the series I've been consistent but it didn't happen in the final," he admitted.

Report: BBC Five Live's Pat Murphy

Interview: West Indies captain Brian Lara

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