We did our best - Cremer

HARARE - Zimbabwe's main spinners Graeme Cremer and Sean Williams feel the team’s bowling unit has been unfairly criticised following Tuesday’s 10-wicket loss to New Zealand in the second ODI at Harare Sports Club.

After winning the toss and electing to bat first, the hosts reached 235-9 largely due to Sikandar Raza’s 100 after having crumbled to 68-5 after overs 17.4 overs.

A total of 235 was always going to be difficult to defend and the Zimbabwean bowlers toiled for 42,2 overs without a single wicket as the Black Caps openers Martin Guptill (116) and Tom Latham (110) scored centuries to guide their side to reach 236-0.

In the aftermath of that defeat, most of the blame has been laid squarely on the bowlers’ failure to break the Guptill-Latham partnership to give Zimbabwe a chance to win the match.

“I didn’t think we bowled badly, I think we were just outplayed. There wasn’t a lot of pressure on the batsmen because the total probably wasn’t as high as it should have been,” Cremer told the Daily News.

“I think the par score on that wicket was maybe 260-270 and then it’s a different game. We needed to get one or two wickets in the first 10 overs and then we put a bit of pressure on them but I think after the 20th over it was probably game over by then.”

Cremer said going into the third and final ODI tomorrow, Zimbabwe need to reach that par score if they hope to win the series.

“It depends what we do, if we bat first again we need to sort of get to that par score better and give ourselves something to bowl at.,” he said.

“And obviously if we bowl first, we need to try and restrict them to a below par and if we bat well we know we can chase the score because we chased 300 on Sunday.”

Williams was also of the same view with Cremer.

“It’s a difficult one because obviously the toss I think plays quite a big part in the game but it can go either way,” he said.

“We have changed the ball from the last series to this series. The one we used did a lot more in the morning and the pitch seemed to be a lot drier so that’s the reason we batted first yesterday (Tuesday).

“The ball obviously swung more and there was a lot more turn and bounce on that ball and the one we using now obviously doesn’t do as much.

“But to be honest with you, I think we actually lost it with the bat more than our bowling unit. It’s not really their fault I do think we lack a bit of pace and also they batted really well they didn’t give us any chances or anything like that.

“I think we need to score the runs; firstly we score the runs and we take our catches and just do all the basics right we will win the game.”

Tuesday’s defeat was not expected by most Zimbabwean fans after the locals had stunned the visitors with a seven-wicket defeat in the first ODI last Sunday.

But the Black Caps bounced back in spectacular fashion to leave the series delicately poised at 1-1 going into tomorrow’s decider.

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