December 9, 2001

Hooper admits to being disturbed after latest West Indian failure

An increasingly despondent West Indies captain Carl Hooper admitted to being disturbed by his sides continued poor performance in Sri Lanka, as they slipped to a four-wicket defeat against Zimbabwe in the second game of the LG Abans triangular series on Sunday.

West Indies were bowled out for just 173 on a decent pitch at the Sinhalese Sports Club, which they then followed with a jaded display in the field.

"We just don't seem to have got ourselves together after the Test series," said Hooper. "We didn't look sharp batting at all. We looked half asleep."

"We lost it in the batting department," he said. "Between 220-240 would have made it a good game and against Zimbabwe we expected to score 250."

Asked as the reason for the team's poor run, he said: "I don't know, it's becoming disturbing. We seem to be putting our tails are between our legs and running for cover. I have racked my head but what do you do? Do you change the batting order or pick different players?

"The first thing to address is whether this is the best team here and on balance I think it is. We are just not playing as a team and putting together consistently good performances.

"We have got to much better than this. The World Cup is only a year or so away now. The emphasis must be playing well as a team.

West Indies are now under pressure for qualification for the final and take on the hosts on Tuesday. Hooper added: "Lets hope we are saving our best performance for the Sri Lankans."

Zimbabwean captain Stuart Carlisle, man of the match after his 47, was, however, elated to have comeback so well after Saturdays humiliating nine-wicket defeat by Sri Lanka.

"Its incredible this game: from the lowest of lows we are back on a high," he said. "The guys showed a lot of character.

"We were blessed with an early run out and then we put some early pressure on and keep that going for the full 50 overs No complaints with the fielding today either. A much better effort, with hardly any fumbles.

But Carlisle admitted to a few nervous moments as Zimbabwe suffered a mini middle order collapse.

"We were sweating up there in the dressing room and I don't why we made it so hard for ourselves," he said. It started with a bad shot from me and then Craig Wishart, Douglas Marillier and Tatenda Taibu all played terrible shots. There is no doubt that we will be talking about that quite aggressively tomorrow.

"But a win is a win and, after our 16 match run of losses before the Bangladesh series, its good to show some of the young guys that we can beat the better sides."