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Last Updated: Monday, 2 June, 2003, 04:35 GMT 05:35 UK
Lara lauds Windies spirit
West Indies captain Brian Lara shares a joke with Australia skipper Ricky Ponting
Lara tells Ponting how to end a series in style
West Indies captain Brian Lara praised his team's fighting spirit after they clinched three consecutive one-day victories over Australia.

The World Cup champions had romped to a 4-0 lead in the seven-match series but the Windies refused to lie down, stylishly winning the final three games.

The home side completed the hat-trick with a crushing nine-wicket defeat of Australia at Queen's Park on Sunday.

"We had to regroup, think what we were all about," said Lara.

"We told ourselves that we would treat the last three games as a different series and we met all our targets."

"The remaining three matches we played really hard and I'm very happy with this performance."

Australia one-day captain Ricky Ponting heads home with a series under his belt as well as the honour of being part of the first team ever to win three consecutive Tests in the Caribbean.

But while he gave credit to the home side he admitted that his one-day side leave feeling they have missed an opportunity.

I think now is the West Indies time
Captain Brian Lara
"We played very, very well just about the whole tour, but we let ourselves down a little bit in this last week," Ponting said.

"We've just been sloppy. We have probably been a bit tired, but that's no excuse.

"I thought the West Indies played particularly well in these last three one-day games, and in most facets of the game they outplayed us."

Lara acknowledged that his young group of players had also shown encouraging signs at Test level despite again losing the series to Australia.

In the final Test, the West Indies battled to reach 418, a new mark for the most successful fourth innings total in Test history.

"We set targets and we realized that we were improving against the best team in the world and in the final Test in Antigua, we proved that.

"It was great to see the youngsters come through and believe in themselves.

"Australia was tough. They played great cricket and deserved to win both series.

"But I think now is the West Indies' time against Sri Lanka and hopefully we are going to be up for it and do our best.





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