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Lara is hopeful for the third Test

india Updated: Nov 23, 2006 23:37 IST

Captain Brian Lara hoped that Thursday's drawn second Test match against Pakistan could help the West Indies improve its poor form in Test cricket.

Pakistan's prolific batsman Mohammad Yousuf denied the West Indies push for victory with a splendid 191 in seven hours and all-rounder Abdul Razzaq scored a fighting 80 when the match was called off late on the last day with Pakistan progressing at 461-7 for an overall lead of 227 runs.

"This match is something that could be used in future because we played 15 hard sessions of cricket and that is what it needed for any team to first of all draw a match or to win it," Lara said. West Indies has been struggling in the longer version of the game in the recent years, winning just two test matches in it's last 24 test matches while the remaining six were drawn.

West Indies had its chances to go for a series leveling victory on Thursday after losing the first test at Lahore by nine wickets inside four days.

Runako Morton dropped Yousuf on 108 just before lunch with Pakistan leading just by 74 runs.

"(Fielding) is definitely something we will have to work on," Lara said.

"It's the area that we need to improve.

"When you want to win matches there's old saying catches win matches and we did not take the chances that were presented to us." Lara smashed a 77-ball century before lunch on Wednesday and went on to score his ninth double century on a flat wicket of Multan Cricket Stadium in a strong West Indies total of 591 in reply to Pakistan's 357.

"The wicket was not a real test of skill and talent, batsmen do have it easier.... and bowlers have to really work hard," Lara said.

"There should be more test for the batsman and hopefully we will see that in Karachi."

Lara praised his bowlers' effort for restricting Pakistan under 400 runs in the first innings with 22-year-old fast bowler Jerome Taylor taking his second five-wicket haul.

"After first 20 to 25 overs with the new ball there's not much sideways movement," Lara said.

"We were in the commanding position up until the fifth day and I am very proud of the guys especially after spending the fifth day in Lahore practicing we were here pushing for win." West Indies dropped its vice-captain Ramnaresh Sarwan after he scored 3 and 23 in the first test, but Lara said his deputy will be back in the West Indies test team.

"Sarwan is one of the best talent in his generation, in my generation and even the generation before and he is someone who we will be looking forward to have in future," Lara said. "He is the vice-captain of the team and the West Indies did not invest 64 test matches to have Sarwan sit on sidelines." "It (dropping Sarwan) was just to make him aware of the situation. He is a strong in character and he is going to be someone we always enjoy in team in the future."

The third Test begins in the southern port city of Karachi from Monday.

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