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Skipper Hooper rallies West Indies


GEORGETOWN, Guyana, March 10 (AFP) - New West Indies captain Carl Hooper made a confident half-century to lead a recovery by his team on the second day of the first Test against South Africa at the Bourda ground Saturday.

West Indies were 300 for eight at lunch after starting the day at a precarious 232 for seven. Hooper made 67 not out, his highest score in five Tests at his home ground.

It was a total which did not seem likely when Dinanath Ramnarine was run out for five in the second over of the morning. Hooper tried to steal a single off the last ball of the over from opposite number Shaun Pollock but stopped in mid-pitch as Herschelle Gibbs swooped from backward point.

Ramnarine sacrificed himself by setting off for a hopeless run as Gibbs trotted in to break the stumps.

But Hooper found support from number ten batsman Mervyn Dillon, who was content to play defensively while his captain farmed the strike and hit some sparkling offside strokes.

Hooper earned a big cheer from his home town supporters as he cut Lance Klusener past point to reach 50 off 108 balls. He hit six fours.

South Africa used five bowlers as they tried to finish off the innings. Allan Donald and Shaun Pollock both bowled accurately with a ball that was only two overs old at the start of play. But they gained no assistance from a slow pitch on a hot day.

Klusener, who bowled 26 overs for 31 runs Friday, conceded 13 runs in his first two overs Saturday as Hooper played him confidently off the back foot.







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