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Last Updated:  Monday, 10 February, 2003, 07:39 GMT

Lara inspires Windies
Lara's century was stirring
Group B, Cape Town:
West Indies 278-5 (50 overs) beat South Africa 275-9 (49 overs) by three runs

Brian Lara hit a sublime century to inspire West Indies to a stunning win over South Africa in the opening match of the tournament.

The batsman lit up a clash which set a glittering precedent for the remaining 53 games to follow.

Lara's 116, his 16th ton in one-day internationals, catapulted the Caribbean side to 278 for five after they won the toss.

West Indies looked the likely winners throughout South Africa's run-chase but were pushed all the way by Lance Klusener, who sparked a fightback from 160 for six.

Klusener's 57 off 38 balls revived memories of the 1999 World Cup, where he was man of the tournament.

Brian showed what a world class player he is
WI captain Carl Hooper

But he fell in the final over - the 49th after a slow over rate in West Indies innings - to leave his side agonisingly short.

Klusener's fireworks provided a nail-biting climax, but the Windies were fitting victors after Lara had put them on the right track.

His best World Cup score included 12 boundaries and two sixes and got the Windies out of a hole after they slumped to seven for two early on.

After the boost of winning the toss, the Windies emerged listless against a fired-up South African attack led by skipper Shaun Pollock.

The first three overs were maidens and matters looked even worse for West Indies when Pollock removed openers Wavell Hinds and Chris Gayle.

THE KEY MOMENT
Lara edges Ntini first ball but Kallis can't hold on...

The Windies were gifted a priceless piece of luck when Lara, who had not played since September last year after falling ill, was dropped by Jacques Kallis first ball.

Twelve overs had passed before the first boundary was scored and West Indies were just 30 for two after the first 16.

It was not until veteran paceman Allan Donald, whose nine wicket-less overs went for 54, came into the attack that runs began to flow.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul was content in playing second fiddle to Lara, but his 60-ball 34 came to an end when Klusener had him caught behind.

Captain Carl Hooper picked up where Chanderpaul left off, supporting Lara until he was removed by Ntini for 40.

It could have gone either way
SA captain Shaun Pollock

Lara followed soon after when spooning to Pollock, but Ricardo Powell and Ramnaresh Sarwan capped an amazing revival with an unbeaten stand of 63 off 27 balls at the death.

Merv Dillon was rewarded for a good opening spell, making a timely breakthrough to remove Herschelle Gibbs after South Africa had raced to 46 in the ninth over.

The dismissal, Dillon's 100th in one-dayers, visibly deflated the hosts.

Boeta Dippenaar, Jacques Kallis and Jonty Rhodes all fell after making little impression, leaving South Africa paddling at 117 for four.

Opener Gary Kirsten (69) and Mark Boucher (49) threatened to take the game away from West Indies, but neither scored quickly enough.

When both fell the task was left to Klusener, who brought the partisan crowd to voice but failed to give South Africa a dream start to their World Cup campaign.


South Africa: G Kirsten, HH Gibbs, JH Kallis, HH Dippenaar, JN Rhodes, MV Boucher, L Klusener, SM Pollock (capt), N Boje, AA Donald, M Ntini.

West Indies: CH Gayle, WW Hinds, BC Lara, S Chanderpaul, CL Hooper (capt), RR Sarwan, RL Powell, RD Jacobs, VC Drakes, M Dillon, PT Collins.

Umpires: Srinivas Venkatarghavan, Daryl Harper...






WATCH AND LISTEN
West Indies hero Brian Lara
"We had to fight"


South African captain Shaun Pollock
"To get so close you feel a little bit robbed"



SEE ALSO
Have Your Say on South Africa
04 Jan 03 |  Have Your Say
Have Your Say on West Indies
04 Jan 03 |  Have Your Say


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