Utseya and Cremer pleased with spinning pitch
Prosper Utseya, the Zimbabwe captain, was delighted with his team's shock defeat of West Indies in the Twenty20 fixture in Trinidad, and lauded his team's self-belief for the victory.
"It wasn't a good way to start, but we managed to put up a good total which was great," Utseya told AFP. His side was staring down the barrel at 0 for 3 after 2.4 overs before recovering to post a three-figure score.
"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. 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."
Utseya revealed that his team had prepared for the spin-friendly conditions at the Queens' Park Oval. "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.
"The guys have been playing some good cricket back home in our domestic competition. We were confident that we had prepared ourselves very well for this series in the Caribbean," Utseya said.
Utseya was however quick to caution against complacency. "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."
Walter Chawaguta, Zimbabwe's interim coach, explained that it had been decided at team meetings at the start of the tour that Zimbabwe's spin attack was their strongest weapon and should provide the fulcrum of their game plan.
"A lot of teams in Twenty20 cricket believe that the cleanest hitters and fastest scoring batsmen should be loaded at the top of the order, no matter what, but in our case it was a question of using our best bowlers up front, even if they are spinners," he said.
Graeme Cremer, who choked West Indies' chase with a spell of 3 for 11 to take Man-of-the-Match award, was pleased with the conditions that aided him. "I am happy that we had a turning pitch for a change. We knew that the pitches would be low and slow, but we never thought that the pitches would offer so much turn.
"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," Cremer said.
Cremer revealed that his bowling had come along since he spent time with Terry Jenner, the former Australia legspinner. "I learnt a great deal from 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."