‘When you lose after scoring 300, 250 looks like 200’
Bangladesh captain Tamim Iqbal was pleased with batter Afif Hossain and paceman Ebadot Hossain, who made his debut and lent a helping hand to his side in the dead-rubber third ODI at Harare yesterday as the series ended 2-1 in Zimbabwe's favour.
Bangladesh lost three wickets inside 10 overs after being asked to bat for the third time in the series and, during the course of Anamul Haque Bijoy's 71-ball 76, the innings started taking shape. However once Bijoy departed, Mahmudullah Riyad in particular struggled get the scoring rate up during a partnership with Afif.
However, Afif's 81-ball 85 proved instrumental to Bangladesh posting 256 for nine in the 50 overs.
"At one point I thought they were struggling. The way Afif batted was pleasing to see. He was timing the ball well. He batted extremely well," Tamim said at the post-match presentation.
Ebadot, flown in as a recent addition to the squad, scalped two wickets off back-to-back deliveries in the sixth over to deal the crucial blow to Zimbabwe's hope of achieving a clean sweep, disturbing in-form Sikandar Raza's stumps for naught.
After losing the first two ODIs despite scoring 303 and 290 respectively, Tamim was glad his side got five wickets early.
"When you have lost games after scoring 300, 250 looks like 200. Luckily, we got five wickets early and that was good for us. We have been carrying him [Ebadot] for a long time. I was surprised he wasn't included in the playing XI. Luckily, he was available for this last game and he delivered," Tamim said after 105-run win.
Meanwhile, Raza, coming off consecutive tons, was a little disappointed not to leave a mark with the bat in the final ODI. "It would have been nice to win the game again. But I didn't get the runs, I'll work hard and look forward to the next series," Raza said.
Zimbabwe too had to deal with injuries to key players during the series with Bangladesh but Raza praised the atmosphere in the dressing room.
"It has not been easy as we missed the big guns in the dressing room. [Richard] Ngarava bowled well, [Luke] Jongwe too. There are a lot of good things happening in the dressing room. This result wouldn't have been possible without the love and support of the crowd," he said.