Windies elects to bat against South Africa in opener

Published: Sunday, February 9, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Cape Town: West Indian captain Carl Hooper won the toss and elected to bat in the opening match of the World Cup against South Africa at Newlands on Sunday. Newlands has usually helped the side batting first in day-night games, although groundsman Christo Erasmus said the assistance for bowlers in the evening had become less pronounced in recent seasons because less grass has been left on the pitch. South Africa named a predictable side, with all-rounder Lance Klusener preferred ahead of Andrew Hall.

The West Indies packed itsside with batsmen, picking only three specialist bowlers in pacemen Mervyn Dillon, Vasbert Drakes and Pedro Collins, together with all-rounder Ricardo Powell. Hooper and opening batsman Chris Gayle were expected to bowl off spinners to back up the specialists. The field looked in good condition despite being covered by agricultural matting while 5000 performers took part in the opening ceremony on Saturday.

The teams: South Africa: Shaun Pollock (captain), Herschelle Gibbs, Gary Kirsten, Boeta Dippenaar, Jacques Kallis, Jonty Rhodes, Mark Boucher, Lance Klusener, Nicky Boje, Allan Donald and Makhaya Ntini.

West Indies: Carl Hooper (captain), Chris Gayle, Wavell Hinds, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Brian Lara, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Ricardo Powell, Ridley Jacobs, Vasbert Drakes, Mervyn Dillon and Pedro Collins.

Umpires: Srinivas Venkataraghavan (India), Daryl Harper (Australia).

TV Umpire: Peter Willey (England).

Match Referee: Ranjan Madugalle (Sri Lanka).

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