Hooper celebrates first win as Windies captain

Guyana Chronicle
April 25, 2001

KINGSTON, Jamaica, (Reuters) - Carl Hooper was delighted after claiming his first win as West Indies captain with a 130-run triumph over South Africa in the fifth Test at Sabina Park on Monday.

Although South Africa won the series 2-1, it was the first victory for the home side in 14 Tests and also the tourists' first defeat in 13 matches.

"It's a good feeling," Hooper said. "There are good enough reasons to celebrate. Even though we lost the series, I think it was important for us to pull one back and give a good showing.

"We want to take our rebuilding process forward into the one-dayers and then to our tour to Zimbabwe in June. The win was very, very important and we're all very happy."

Hooper added: "We've won against a very, very good side and I can't help emphasising the point that we have a very young side.

"It's good to know that we can compete with South Africa over five Tests with each match virtually going down to the last session."

Hooper was particularly keen to recognise the efforts of his bowlers at the end of a match which saw the curtain drawn on the career of Courtney Walsh after 132 Tests and a world record 519 wickets.

"The way we bowled in the South African first innings - the good, consistent line and pressure we generated - it's the kind of bowling we've had to face all summer from the South Africans," said Hooper.

"And when the chances came we took them, which was good to see."

Hooper's opposite number Shaun Pollock was disappointed his side had not managed to win the series 3-0, and pointed to South Africa's poor first innings batting display as the key to their defeat.

"We had won the series 2-0 and we talked about not being complacent and making sure we still played good cricket and went out there looking to win," Pollock said.

"I don't know, maybe as much as you talk, at times there are certain things that go against you and maybe we didn't play as well as we could.

"What cost us was definitely our first innings batting. To get 141 on a wicket that wasn't that bad was a poor effort."