Cremer's words come to pass

WHEN the Zimbabwe cricket team trailed Afghanistan 0-2 in the five-match ODI series it seemed far-fetched an assessment of the visitors’ point of weakness by the captain Graeme Cremer on the eve of the competition.

On the eve of the series, the 30-year-old legspinner boldly declared that there would be areas in the Afghanistan game they could exploit in order to end a losing streak to the visitors which date sback to 2015.

“I think they play aggressive cricket which makes them a bit inconsistent,” Cremer told reporters during a press series conference at Harare Sports Club.

After the visitors had won the first two matches, Cremer’s words came to fruition during Tuesday’s third match when Zimbabwe completed an unlikely three-run victory to keep the series alive.

That afternoon, it looked like the Asians would wrap up the series when they bowled out the hosts for a paltry 129 runs inside 32,4 overs.

Zimbabwe looked dead and buried with the visitors having passed 200 in the first two matches, they were expected to easily surpass the 129 target the hosts had set.

In their chase, Afghanistan were sitting pretty on 121-5 after 26.2 overs before they were undone by their aggressive nature.

Zimbabwe was able to wrestle a win from the jaws of defeat when they bowled out Afghanistan for 126 as the visitors lost five wickets for just five runs in 21 deliveries.

First to leave the crease as the sixth victim was Samiullah Shenwari (29) caught behind by wicketkeeper PJ Moor off Chris Mpofu’s bowling before the same combination got the scalp of Najibullah Zadran (0) in similar fashion the very next ball.

The next over saw the dismissal of former Afghanistan captain and IPL bound Mohammad Nabi (11), who was bowled out by left arm spinner Sean Williams, while Rashid Khan (2) was caught behind by Moor off Mpofu in the 29th over to leave the visitors reeling on 124/9.

Williams grabbed the final wicket of Amir Hamza (2) who was caught by Richard Ngarava.

The fourth match of the series is on today at the same venue with the hosts hoping to get another win to level the series.

“We are still under-performing with the bat, I know it will come right though . . . we will still try to do the basics right and approach the game with a more positive mind-set and build on the win of the last game,” Cremer said.
Afghanistan coach Lalchand Rajput considered his team played badly while giving credit to Zimbabwe for the never say die attitude on the field.

“I thought the short selection was not proper . . . I think that is what it teaches you because you can’t take it lightly, we played some bad shots,” Rajput said.

“I think the batsmen know that it’s a good wake up call for us because the way we were going we were cruising, some loose shots . . . I must give credit to Zimbabwe they came back strongly, they never let the game till the last wicket.”—Austin Karonga

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