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Sabina Park atmosphere was tremendous: Lara

cricket Updated: Mar 14, 2007 18:07 IST

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West Indies captain Brian Lara was overwhelmed by the atmosphere on Tuesday at Sabina Park during his side's 54-run victory over Pakistan in the opening match of Cricket World Cup 2007.

The victory was marked by jubilant celebrations among a crowd of about 20,000 that vociferously cheered on every West Indian boundary and wicket.

"The atmosphere was different to what we've been accustomed to. It's the opening of the World Cup and we expected it," Lara said.

"It was tremendous. The people of Jamaica and others from around the Caribbean showed their patriotism. It was a high point for us."

Apart from loud cheers, the supporters also formed a Mexican wave during a third-wicket partnership of 60 between Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Yousuf.

With the wave in progress, the partnership was broken to spark more celebrations around the ground.

"I think it was the biggest crowd ever at Sabina Park watching a cricket game with the West Indies involved," Lara said.

"It was a tremendous atmosphere. As soon we got 11 guys on the field, you saw the spirit and the camaraderie."

West Indies rallied at the end to post 241 for nine from their 50 overs and then restricted Pakistan to 187 in 47.2 overs.

They owed a lot to all-rounder Dwayne Smith, who hit a brisk 32 off 15 balls and grabbed three for 36 with his medium-pace.

"The batting department did it in spurts. We had a couple of very good periods, and maybe it is something we need to talk about over the next four or five days," Lara said.

"It seems 241 in the end was a good total and the guys did really well at the end. A team which has a lot of big-hitters at the end like Dwayne Smith, we need to be scoring much more heavily early on.

"We are going to work on this area. All in all, it was a good team performance on the field and I think the guys are going to gain a lot of confidence going forward."