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Hooper surprised by spirited chase

Vadodara: West Indies skipper Carl Hooper admitted his team had surpassed his expectations by chasing down India’s 290 in the 48-overs-per-side fifth ODI Monday.

“I thought 270 was a fair target on this wicket which was offering some turn. Having said that I had in mind that 290 was gettable. Bigger totals have been posted and they have been chased. So I was hopeful.”

Hooper added it was indeed very difficult for bowlers on tracks such as these. “A lot of good batsmen are in form and the bowlers are under tremendous pressure to get the ball at the right place.”

But then, he said the toss was still not as important as is made out to be. For the record, all five matches of this series have been won by teams batting second.

“Yes, teams chasing have won so far but then, it is not impossible to defend scores on this wicket. The toss is not as crucial as it is appearing to be at the moment. It’s good to return to winning ways after losing two games. The series is still open but we’re confident of winning.”

MoM Wavell Hinds, meanwhile, added batting alongside an in-form Chris Gayle made things easier for him. “We come from the same place (Jamaica) and know each other’s batting style well. He is in great form and having him at the other end lifted my confidence,” said Hinds.

“It has been a long tour, a big series, and having spent so many days here has helped us getting used to the Indian spinners. But conditions in one-dayers are anyway different from Tests,” said the left-hander, while asked how the showing has been so different in the ODIs after a bad Test series.

Lawson to replace Ryan

West Indian middle-order batsman Ryan Hinds will return home in the next 48 hours for treatment to his injured knee, informed the team manager. Fast bowler Jermaine Lawson, who returned home after playing the Tests, will replace Hinds.

Skipper Hooper, meanwhile, will skip the series in Bangladesh to undergo surgery on his troubled knee ligament. The West Indians are scheduled to leave for Bangladesh immediately after the one-day series to play two Tests and three one-dayers.

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