The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Meaningless wins just not enough: Lara

Kingstown (St Vincent): The West Indies need to win more meaningful matches, captain Brian Lara said Wednesday following his team’s six-wicket consolation victory over Sri Lanka in their third and final one-day International.

“Hopefully, we’ll get our act together and understand that we can’t afford to play cricket after everything’s finished,” Lara said. “We need to play cricket from the beginning.”

Three home series in the last two months have seen the West Indies win matches after the rubber had already been lost.

The home team rebounded to win the final Test after Australia took the first three in a four-Test series. The West Indies then lost four straight one-dayers, conceding the series, but then recovered to win the final three.

Wednesday’s win against Sri Lanka in St Vincent occurred only after two losses over the weekend in Barbados, giving Sri Lanka the Cable & Wireless Trophy.

“We have another series right on top of us, so it’s important that we try and locate (the problem), keep it in house and make sure we work on it as much as possible,” Lara said. “We don’t want to go into the next series thinking we can’t play from day one.”

The West Indies face Sri Lanka in two Tests, the first beginning June 20 in St Lucia.

“This is a two-match series, so there’s no coming back after the first Test if you lose it,” Lara said.

Sri Lanka’s one-day skipper Marvan Atapattu said he was upset that his team could not make a clean sweep of the three one-day Internationals.

“It was a disappointment,” the 32-year-old said. “We wanted to wrap it up on a good note, but things didn’t go according to plan.”

Atapattu blamed a bit of “overconfidence,” but added that the team should be fully focussed for the Tests. “As far as we’re concerned, we’ll fall into the place where we were before the start of the one-day series,” Atapattu said. “It’s a different ball game altogether.”

For the Tests, Sri Lanka’s captain will be Hashan Tillekeratne.

On Saturday, the Sri Lankans begin a three-day warm-up match in St Vincent against the West Indies Cricket Board President’s XI team.

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