Hooper punishes wayward attack

West Indies 454-5 v India
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The Independent Online

Much to the delight of their home town crowd, Carl Hooper scored a maiden double Test century and Shivnarine Chanderpaul added a career-best 140 as the West Indies reached 454 for 5 at tea on the second day of the first Test here yesterday.

It was a momentous occasion for Hooper, the West Indies captain, unbeaten on 203, who had to wait 15 years to reach three figures in Tests in his home town. He added a record 293 for the fifth wicket with Chanderpaul, taking the hosts from 270 for 4 overnight to a position of strength as they seek to bounce back from five consecutive Test losses.

The West Indies' previous best fifth wicket stand against India had come in 1953 at Port of Spain between Everton Weekes and Bruce Pairaudeau.

Hooper brought up his 200 flicking the off-spinner Sarandeep Singh to the mid-wicket fence for his 27th four. But it had been Chanderpaul who was the early aggressor, driving Javagal Srinath down the ground for a four and cutting him backward of point for another boundary.

The 27-year-old past 3,000 runs in his 52nd Test when he reached 66, pulling the left-arm fast bowler Zaheer Khan to the square leg fence before steering him through a vacant third man area for four more. He cut leg-spinner Anil Kumble backward of point and flicked him for three runs to bring up his third Test hundred in 176 balls.

Chanderpaul punched the air and knelt to kiss the pitch in a touching celebration as the 8,000 in the stands gave him a huge ovation. His previous highest score of 137 not out had come against India in the 1996-97 season in Barbados.

It was Chanderpaul's second century at the venue to follow his 118 against England in 1998. It is a feat achieved by no other Guyanese player, a remarkable statistic given that such outstanding batsmen as Rohan Kanhai, Basil Butcher, Roy Fredericks, Clive Lloyd and Alvin Kallicharran preceded him.

India, who have not won a Test series outside south Asia in over 16 years, were not helped by a listless, wayward and were visibly relieved when Zaheer Khan finally broke the partnership, trapping Chanderpaul lbw just 10 minutes before tea.

Second day; West Indies won toss

WEST INDIES – First Innings

(Overnight: 270 for 4)

C H Gayle c Dasgupta b Srinath 12

S C Williams lbw b Srinath 13

R R Sarwan c Khan b Sarandeep Singh 53

BC Lara c Dasgupta b Srinath 0

*C L Hooper not out 203

S Chanderpaul lbw b Zaheer 140

ÝJ R Murray not out 0

Extras (b1 lb4 w3 nb25) 33

Total (for 5, 143 overs) 454

To bat: M V Nagamootoo, M Dillon, C E Cuffy, A Sanford.

Falls: 1-21, 2-37, 3-44, 4-157, 5-450

Bowling: Srinath 29-7-79-3 (3nb); Khan 29-8-92-1 (14nb 1w); Bangar 23-5-60-0 (1w); Kumble 36-6-118-0 (4nb); Ganguly 2-1-2-0 (1nb); Sarandeep Singh 21-5-80-1 (3nb); Tendulkar 3-0-18-0 (1w)

INDIA: S S Das, ÝD Dasgupta, *S C Ganguly, S R Tendulkar, R Dravid, S B Bangar, V V S Laxman, Z Khan, A Kumble, J Srinath, Sarandeep Singh.

Umpires: E A R de Silva (SL), D J Harper (Aus).

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