`Sir Carl' takes S/ Windwards apart
--as Guyana score crushing win by Donald Duff at Albion
Stabroek News
October 4, 2001

It was a spectators treat, marred only towards the end by unacceptable crowd behaviour whose exuberance could be understood as a spectacular Carl Hooper innings led Guyana to a 80-run victory over the Southern Windward Islands in a rain affected Red Stripe Bowl cricket encounter at the Albion Community Development Centre yesterday.

The bumper mid-week crowd of approximately 8000 persons had anxiously waited after rain washed out three and a half hours play, but they got their money's worth as Hooper turned on the power to smash a whirlwind unbeaten 95 off a mere 59 balls as Guyana amassed 216 runs for three wickets off a reduced 30 overs allotment from 50 originally.

The Southern Windwards were then restricted to 136-5 in their 30 overs.

The initial false start had occurred after only two deliveries, the first of the day's play pulled disdainfully through midwicket by Andrew Gonsalves for four that whetted the appetite and hinted of things to come.

When the game finally re-started, after a heavy shower, Southern Windwards, newcomers to the competition, but with a few old stagers, quickly halted the rollicking start.

Gonsalves was first dropped by wicketkeeper Junior Murray off Deighton Butler in an eventful first over which saw 10 runs scored.

Gonsalves did not make the miss a costly one as he was soon lbw to Under-19 seamer Kenroy Peters in the sixth over.

Sewnarine Chattergoon in his first game in regional one-day competition, struggled early on but the entry of Ramnaresh Sarwan and the simultaneous introduction of McNeil Morgan changed the complexion of the game. Fourteen runs came off his first over as Guyana raced to 50 in only 47 minutes off 10.3 overs.

Young Sewnarine Chattergoon enjoyed a fruitful one-day debut yesterday. (Lawrence Fanfair photo)

Sarwan had motored to 26 from only 27 balls, going past Chattergoon's score in the process when he hit the third ball of Orlando Jackson's first over to Morgan at long-off.

Enter `Sir' Carl. He began quietly, seeking the easy singles with the languid grace that so characterises his strokes in reaching 19 while Chattergoon at the other end was dropped by Kenroy Peters at backward point off Jackson.

It was at this point that Hooper decided to up the ante. He danced down the pitch to Jackson and hit him straight back for six, causing play to be held up to replace the ball. Hooper's next six was just wide of the commentators box off John Sylvester.

He then raced to 37 three runs behind Chattergoon but the little left hander refused to be overshadowed by his captain and rushed to his half century with a six off Jackson over long-on.

By this time Hooper was into a higher gear. He unveiled his usual repertoire of delicate late cuts, sweetly timed drives, soft pushes into the off side for quickly scampered singles and powerful shots which sent the crowd in ecstasy.

Guyana raced to 150-2 in 25 overs with Hooper and Chattergoon in full cry and cheered on by the partisan crowd.

The stand was worth 99 runs in only 12.5 overs when Chattergoon went down the pitch to leg spinner Rawle Lewis and skied a catch to wicketkeeper Junior Murray to be dismissed for a well played 58.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul, the third member of Guyana's Test batting triumvirate joined his skipper and the pair continued the run-spree. Hooper duly reached his 50 with two sixes and two fours in only 49 minutes then went into overdrive. He struck Lewis for consecutive sixes, the first one over midwicket and the second a towering hit that went over long-on as he raced to 82 and in the process bring up Guyana's 200.

Chanderpaul kept the scoreboard ticking and in the process offered Lewis a difficult catch to the bowler's left. In the last over the question was whether Hooper would reach three figures. But despite flicking the last ball of the 30th over to the boundary, he ended on 95 not out. The knock comprised five sixes and four fours. Chanderpaul was unbeaten on 13 as Guyana plundered 105 runs off the last 10 overs.

The Windwards were off to a solid start with openers Devon Smith and Romel Currency posting 75 for the first wicket. Hooper was forced to introduce himself and Neil McGarrell in an all spin attack after pacers Reon King and Colin Stuart conceded 18 runs each off their first two overs.

Currency who was mis-stumped by wicketkeeper Vishal Nagamootoo off Hooper, was the first to go when he edged King to the wicketkeeper who gleefully held the catch in the bowler's second spell.

And after the experienced Junior Murray was sent back by Mahendra Nagamootoo to a catch at the wicket for eight, the Windwards found the going tough. Only Smith who topscored with a well played 48 and to a lesser extent Lewis whose 28 included a towering six off Stuart, showed any resistance.

Smith struck five fours from 83 balls before he was smartly caught by Chanderpaul at cover off McGarrell while Lewis was stumped off the bowling of leg spinner Chattergoon as Hooper allowed himself the luxury of using partime bowlers which also included Travis Dowlin.

The game ended in unusual manner when spectators ran onto the pitch with one delivery remaining. They pulled up the stumps and chaos reigned until some measure of sanity returned. The stumps went back in place and the final delivery was bowled.

Hooper was adjudged Man-of-the Match by former Guyana player Sydney Jackman for his memorable batsmanship.