Utseya, Cremer confident after Zimbabwe win

Prosper Utseya disclosed that Zimbabwe had always felt confident they could upset West Indies in Sunday’s historic Twenty20 International at Queen’s Park Oval.

By (AFP)

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Mon 1 Mar 2010, 5:01 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 2:36 AM

The Zimbabwe captain revealed that his side never let their heads down, not even when they were dismissed for a modest 105 in 19.5 overs, after choosing to bat on a hard, slow pitch that offered the spinners generous assistance.

The visitors, choosing to bat, fought back from the wreckage of no runs for three wickets in the third over to upset West Indies by 26 runs in the maiden T20 International between the two sides.

“It wasn’t a good way to start, but we managed to put up a good total which was great,” said Utseya.

“It wasn’t a good pitch on which to play, since we were looking for something around 140. We thought that would have been a good total.

He added: “Obviously, we fell way short of this, but we felt if we could get 100 runs on the board that we had enough belief in ourselves to be able to defend such a small total.

“We always thought the pitch was going to be spinner-friendly, so we decided to pack our side with spinners, and I thought they bowled brilliantly which was the key for us in our victory.”

Since their self-imposed moratorium from Test cricket four years, there have been many changes in the Zimbabwe domestic structure.

The country’s first Twenty20 competition was played recently, and featured former Australia all-rounder Ian Harvey and England’s Chris Silverwood as player/coaches, and Utseya believes this contributed greatly to the performance of his side.

“The guys have been playing some good cricket back home in our domestic competition,” he said.

“We were confident that we had prepared ourselves very well for this series in the Caribbean.”

“But it is important for us to stay calm, and not get carried away with this victory. We still need to work on our game because there are still several areas in which we can improve to make us a better team.”

Graeme Cremer was named Man-of-the-Match for capturing three wickets for 11 runs from his allotment of four overs.

“I am happy that we had a turning pitch for a change,” said the 23-year-old leg-spinner.

“We knew that the pitches would be low and slow, but we never thought that the pitches would offer so much turn.”

He said: “When we saw the pitch [on Saturday], we felt it would turn, and we decided that we would bowl spin all the way through the match.”

“I learnt a great deal from [former Australia leg-spinner] Terry Jenner, when he came to Zimbabwe recently. I spent four days with him, and he taught me so much, and he helped me with a few deliveries which seem to be working.”

The two sides now play five One-day Internationals - the first is on Thursday at the Guyana National Stadium.

More news from