Hooper: We Blew it

Fri, Feb 28, '03


WI World Cup

West Indies captain Carl Hooper said his team only had themselves to blame for their almost certain early World Cup exit.

While the former world champions still have a slight chance of making the Super Sixes if they win their final game against Kenya and other results go their way, Hooper said their six-run loss to Sri Lanka yesterday was effectively the end of the road.

"At the beginning of the day it was in our hands but at the end of the day, we lost it, so basically that's it, we're out,'' he said. "It was close in the end but a miss is as good as a mile.''

After beating South Africa in the opening match of the tournament, West Indies lost to New Zealand and missed out on two valuable points when their match against Group B minnows Bangladesh was washed out.

They recovered to beat Canada but their defeat by Sri Lanka means they are likely to finish short on the points table.

While the extra points they would have almost certainly have got against Bangladesh have come back to haunt them, Hooper said that was not an excuse for the team's poor showing.

"We're very disappointed but you can't really put these sort of things into words. I honestly thought we'd do much better than this,'' he said.

"To be knocked out in this manner is hard but cricket's about life and you just have to take it.''

Hooper also refused to blame the toss on the outcome of yesterday?s day-nighter at Newlands. While history was on Sri Lanka's side from the moment Sanath Jayasuriya called correctly and opted to bat first, West Indies still had the chance to win.

They restricted Sri Lanka to 228 for six but finished agonisingly short at 222 for nine when they ran out of overs.

" I don't think batting in the evening was a factor, we just batted poorly today,'' Hooper said.

"I thought we should have got 228 but we didn't come through. We lost wickets at valuable times ?. We needed someone to stick around which didn't happen.''

* From wire reports.