Cricket: Lara flops on debut as captain

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The Independent Online
Brian Lara completed his rehabilitation with West Indies cricket yesterday, but his debut as captain did not turn out the way he would have wanted. It rained, he was out for seven and the West Indies lost to Western Australia by nine wickets.

Lara, who was fined for misconduct during last year's England tour and further angered officials by withdrawing from a subsequent limited-overs tournament, took command because Courtney Walsh was rested after the West Indies' opening match of their Australian tour, which they lost to a Chairman's XI.

"I like the present management. They've got a lot of faith in me," said Lara, whose side made 127 for 8 in 31 overs after rain forced a reduction from 50 overs. "I like responsibility and in a way it helps me contribute to the side in Courtney's absence."

Not that it showed yesterday. Lara struggled to put bat to ball for 25 balls before falling to an injudicious shot outside the off stump and it was left to Jimmy Adams to guide the tourists to a respectable total with an unbeaten 48.

Western Australia overhauled the total with more than 11 overs to spare, courtesy of an unbeaten 64 from the opener Ryan Campbell and 51 not out from Damien Martyn.

Campbell, who also took five catches and made one stumping, and the former Test batsman Martyn combined for a match-winning stand worth 85 in just under 13 overs.

The teams agreed to play a second limited-overs match today before the start of a three-day game tomorrow.

In Bombay, the leg spinner Anil Kumble took 4 for 25 as India, improving with every match, beat South Africa by 35 runs to win the Titan Cup in the triangular series final.

India compiled only 220 for 7 with Sachin Tendulkar the top scorer with 67, but the South Africans, who had won all six of their preliminary matches with ease, collapsed to 96 for 7 and despite recovering were all out for 185 in 47.2 overs.

The capacity crowd of 40,000 home supporters, noisily anticipating an Indian victory, were briefly silenced as the off spinner Pat Symcox, who scored 46, and the wicketkeeper Dave Richardson, with 43, added 88 for the eighth wicket to keep South Africa's hopes alive before Venkatash Prasad and Kumble combined to wrap up the innings.

Results, Digest, page 31

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