February 18, 2003

Hooper upbeat despite Benoni frustration


West Indies captain Carl Hooper refused to be downcast following the abandonment of his side's match against World Cup minnows Bangladesh.

Hooper's side were almost certainly deprived of two vital points when rain washed out their Pool B match at Willowmoore Park.

The West Indies had Bangladesh struggling on 32 for two in reply to their 244 for nine before a misty drizzle sent the players from the field at 2.55pm local time, never to return.

"Our task is no more difficult than before, Hooper insisted. "It means our game against Sri Lanka takes on extra importance and while we may have wanted the four points, it could well be a blessing in disguise.

"We know that game is now a must-win game for us and we will go out to get the points."

Hooper confessed to disappointment at the result, but preferred not to dwell on his team's misfortune.

"Unfortunately there is nothing that we can do about it. It is something that was out of our control, we need to regroup and look forward to our next game. In the end Bangladesh were saved by the rain."

Hooper was unable to hide his frustration at dropping two sitters in the slips, which could have plunged the Bangladeshis still deeper into the mire.

"I dropped some straightforward ones today but our bowlers were doing well and we have to learn in the tougher games that we have to take these chances when they come," he added.

Bangladesh captain Khaled Mashud was delighted with his side's first World Cup points, even though they came through a no-result.

"We bowled well this morning and I think the guys played were well in the conditions," Mashud said. "We're happy at the moment with the points, it isn't ideal for both sides but we are happy."

West Indies' match with Sri Lanka will now be vital to both teams' chances of progression, while South Africa now have a better chance of qualifying for the Super Sixes.