The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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We can beat SA, says WI skipper

Kingston: A fast-maturing West Indies team will be in a position to beat South Africa when the Caribbean side plays a four-Test series there at the end of this year, according to skipper Brian Lara.

“At the beginning of this year I would have said that we’d do well to win a Test match in South Africa, but now I expect us to win the series,” he said shortly after the West Indies clinched a 1-0 series win over Sri Lanka.

“With (batsman Shivnarine) Chanderpaul fit again, and hopefully Jermaine Lawson back and bowling at the speed he was before getting injured, I expect us to beat South Africans,” Lara declared.

The West Indies skipper said he was enjoying the role of nurturing new talent in his second stint as captain, but acknowledged that he was keen to wipe out the memory of captaining a disastrous 5-0 series whitewash in South Africa four years ago.

“That series sort of derailed Brian Lara and derailed West Indies cricket. If we can take out South Africa this time, that will set us up for going down to Australia for our next series there. Then I’ll be able to tell you how far we have come,” he said.

Players such as Ramnaresh Sarwan, Chris Gayle, Wavell Hinds and Marlon Samuels have joined Chanderpaul in confirming their potential.

But it was the bowling department that was the decisive factor in the second Test against Sri Lanka, a low-scoring affair that was wrapped up before the end of the third day. (Reuters)

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