Zimbabwe skipper Graeme Cremer has said the One-Day International series win over Sri Lanka is the highest point of his career. The 11th ranked ODI team arrived in Sri Lanka without a single win in the island nation or a series win- home or away- against their fancied opponents but exceeded all the expectations to win the 5-match series 3-2 following the win in the final match on Monday (July 10).
“This is the pinnacle of my career. No doubt about that. I have been through a lot of good moments since I started playing. There’s been nothing like this. The series win in Sri Lanka is tough and to lead this team is a super feeling. This is definitely the highest point in my career,” Cremer said after the historic win.
Barring a middle-order collapse during the chase, Zimbabwe thoroughly outplayed their hosts to win the final ODI by three wickets. Cremer’s decision to bowl first was totally justified by Zimbabwe’s bowling performance, as they restricted Angelo Mathews & Co. to 203 for eight in the allotted 50 overs.
Sikandar Raza starred with the ball, taking three for 21 in his 10 overs while Cremer was also impressive, conceding just 23 runs in 10 overs and picking up a couple of wickets including the prized scalp of his Sri Lankan counterpart.
In reply, Zimbabwe was in total control of chase, looking well set to reach the target with utmost ease after getting to 148 for two in the 27th over. However, five wickets in quick succession reduced them to 175 for seven before Raza (27) and Cremer (11) took the team home.
“This is very special. Just knowing that quality Zimbabwe sides that have come here have gone empty-handed makes the series win so special. As a team, the unity we had was special. To lead a team like this to a series win I am really happy,” Cremer said.
Zimbabwe’s brilliant fielding effort made a big difference in the final ODI and Cremer said Tarisai Musakanda’s blinder at the point position to dismiss Akila Dananjaya was a big turning point in the game.
“Overall we were good in fielding I would say. Fielding actually separates teams often. That catch from Musakanda today was a turning point. If not for that Sri Lanka could have got to 230 and that would have been a tough total. I thought our fielding was brilliant. Definitely, fielding is a positive for us,” he said.
Cremer concluded by saying that playing against top countries would improve his team’s game.
“We have been trying to get more cricket against top oppositions. We can only get better by doing that. It will help us a lot if there’s more cricket. We will certainly get better,” the captain concluded.