Centurion: West Indies captain Carl Hooper was grateful to be on the receiving end of John Davison's fastest ever World Cup century against Canada at SuperSport Park on Sunday.
"I thought it was good for us," Hooper said after the seven-wicket group 'B' win. "If we had any thoughts about being complacent in the remainder of the tournament, this was a good wake-up call." Davison, 32, opened the innings after Hooper won the toss and promptly racked up a hundred off just 67 balls including six sixes and seven fours - the joint fifth quickest in One-day International history.
"The first 20 overs were disappointing but a lot of credit must be given to Davison," Hooper said. But he added that ahead of what could be a critical encounter against Sri Lanka at Cape Town on February 28, Davison's innings had come at the right time. "Next week we're going to come up against a player who can destroy attacks and this has maybe forced us to re-think our strategy," said Hooper with the destructive talents of Sri Lankan skipper Sanath Jayasuriya very much in mind.
However, Hooper could not hide his frustration at his pace trio of Mervyn Dillon, Pedro Collins and Vasbert Drakes, all of whom had enough experience to have stopped Davison's onslaught before it got started. "We've got to be more accurate, more consistent. We've got to put five or six balls in the one area," insisted Hooper, a backup off spinner who praised the team's part-time bowlers for helping to rein in Canada, which was eventually all out for 202. "I was very surprised. If you were coming up against a player from one of the major Test nations, you'd have thought we'd have pulled it back sooner."
Canada plays in the West Indies' domestic One-day competition where Hooper had faced Davison before. "I've played against him before in our One-day competition in the Caribbean. He didn't do much then. But a hundred off something like 60 balls well, if you asked me when I got out of bed this morning, if this would happen, I would have said no way. "It just shows that cricket is a funny game." Copyright AFP 2001