Comfortable all around
With two changes to the team Bangladesh bounced back strongly in the series by securing a convincing six-wicket victory in the second game thanks to the batsmen who didn't let down the bowlers' efforts as in the first game.
Captain Shakib Al Hasan was much calmer and more restrained in the post-match briefing, unlike the first game, and he paid tribute to the team's 'positive cricket.'
“We were cautious, especially the batsmen, in the first game but everybody played their normal cricket today," stated Shakib.
"I think everybody realized after the defeat that they must do their job properly regardless of opponents. It is simple that the opponents will put pressure if they get any chance," was the explanation from the young skipper, who took the center stage after the nine-run defeat because of an outburst relating to team selections that ultimately saw Mohammad Ashraful left out from the eleven along with Mahmudullah Riyad.
The left-arm spin duo Abdur Razzak, the hattrick man, and Shakib claimed nine wickets between them to set an easy task for the batsmen as Zimbabwe were bundled out for 191 runs. The fielding effort from Bangladesh was also much improved.
As expected the spinners spun a web around Zimbabwe to do their job for the second consecutive match but the biggest relief came when the top order batsmen applied themselves to the chase of a paltry total. The Tigers overtook the total with 62 balls to spare.
Tamim Iqbal was his usual flamboyant self as he gave the home team a confident start although the left-hander missed a deserved half-century by just six runs. Junaed Siddiqui brilliantly capitalised on his early life to return amongst the runs with a fifty and an atypical Rokibul Hasan made no mistake to cash in on his opportunity. All in all it was a good batting scenario for the team indeed.
It might be too early to say that the team got an answer to a long-time problem but it was definitely refreshing to watch the number three (Junaed) and four (Rokibul) batsmen click to allay a lengthy headache for the team management.
The way Rokibul, who hit 65 off 78 balls with six fours and a six, displayed his shot-making ability after settling in the middle not only delighted the crowd but also his captain.
"We know he is capable of making shots. It was nice to see the way he accelerated after settling down in the middle but he must finish the game," said Shakib.
The outcome apparently pleased the skipper, who was to-the-point in his response to questions at the post-match briefing. Shakib restated the views expressed by his Zimbabwean counterpart Elton Chigumbura by indicating that the poor batting from the visitors was a key cause for the Bangladesh victory.
"I don't think they are easy opponents. My observation is that they didn't bat well in the first two games. We depend on our spin attack but they can do well against us at any time," warned Shakib adding that it would have been fantastic for him if they could win the match by eight wickets.
"We did not bat well, we gave our wickets away. We have to correct the mistakes we have still three more games left and we are looking forward to them," was the explanation from Chigumbura.
Both the captains also had the same sentiment about the pitch, as both believed that there was no malice in the track despite the low scores.
In the end everything however was almost perfect for Shakib Al Hasan; from winning the toss to winning the match to celebrating his hundredth ODI match. "The 100th match was not important to me. I'm happy because we won the match and I contributed something," said Shakib finishing in his style.