Hooper thrilled to ton-up at Bourda By Orin Davidson
Stabroek News
April 12, 2002

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When Carl Hooper cut Anil Kumble to the third man boundary to post his first Test match century at the GCC ground, he ran down the punched the air in delight and beamed as he hugged batting partner Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

It was a rare display of emotion for the West Indies cricket captain who later explained that he was desperate to reach the landmark before his home town fans at Bourda.

``I've been desperate to make a 100 before my home crowd for so long that when the moment finally arrives you can allow to let yourself go,'' Hooper said.

``We were in a spot of bother at 44 for three and it was important for someone to come through,'' he said.

Hooper ended the day on 108 not out to follow up on centuries he scored in his last two games in the regional Busta series.

``I've waited 15 years for this moment, and it's finally come.''

Hooper explained he has reached the stage in his career where he has matured enough to carry on and build big innings, as opposed to the past.

And his rich vein of form was helped by a good pitch at Bourda where he said has lived up to its reputation of one being helpful to bowlers.

``The wicket at Bourda has always been good to bat on, and it was like that today as well. Hopefully we can carry on where we left off tomorrow (today)," he added.

Of the Indian bowlers, Hooper said he felt leg spinner Kumble could have done better while Sarandeep Singh who replaced number one choice Harbhajan Singh did not turn the ball much.

``Kumble could have bowled a little better than he did and the other off spinner, Sarandeep, did not turn the ball much. Maybe that's why we got away,'' Hooper said.

Hooper shared in two century stands with Guyanese compatriots Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, much to the delight of the partisan crowd.

``It's very important to get partnerships going. The first one was especially a big one for the team. Shiv and I have put together a little over a hundred now and we must try and make the partnership grow,'' the captain explained.

He added that they would like to score as much as 500 runs as he expects the Indians to fightback.

The century was Hooper's 11th in Tests and his second as West Indies captain since assuming the position one year ago.