Our self-belief has improved - Shakib
"We improved ourselves over the tour. Every time we did something better," Shakib said. "We fought hard in this match and we don't often take the match into the fifth day. Mahmudullah and the fast bowlers did their job well and I'm happy with the way the team is progressing."
The Bangladesh captain was also relieved to finally have a maiden Test century in the bag after being dismissed for 87 in the first innings, but said there was nothing particularly motivating his brutal assault against Daniel Vettori's bowling this morning. He tore into his counterpart, smashing 18 off his first over before taking ten runs off the first three balls of his next over to bring up his fifty. "The ball was there to be hit and I backed myself to play those shots and it came off," Shakib said.
Looking forward to their upcoming home series against England, Shakib was optimistic, claiming, "We now have the belief that we can beat any team in our home conditions, so we are looking forward to it."
Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons took a similar line towards the team's performance on this tour and for the future. "If you look at the individual achievements, we had three centuries and a five-for and we scored our highest Test total against New Zealand," Siddons said. "We've had a lot of achievements but not a lot of results. We've smashed several Bangladesh batting records recently and our [batsmen] are getting better individually. It's just a case of putting it all together and becoming more consistent in the future."
Mahmudullah, who scored 115 in the second innings, has maintained his consistency during this tour but is likely to remain lower down the order.
"We are just letting him develop at the moment. He is just in his sixth Test, and he's doing well but we are wary of pushing him up to a four or five," Siddons said. "It may be too high for him at the moment. He is handy with his offspin as well, as he showed in the second innings, so we are just letting him develop."
New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori was also satisfied with the way his team performed, reserving special mention for Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum, whose partnership of 339 took the game away from Bangladesh on the second day. "We're happy with the way we played," Vettori said. "The way Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum batted was outstanding and I'm really happy with Martin (Guptill) at No.5."
The New Zealand bowlers also earned praise from their captain. "I'm very happy with the way Tim Southee bowled after lunch today as well, he came back with the old ball on a relatively flat wicket and bowled well.
"Jeetan Patel bowled in some tough situations in the match, but he improved throughout and with a number of left-handers in the Australian line-up, he could have a role to play in that series."
Vettori was also impressed with Shakib's batting, "We all knew Shakib would come out playing like he did in the first innings. We expected to bowl better at him but it wasn't to be. The way he performed in this Test match, it's no wonder that he is so highly regarded."
Andrew Fernando is a student at Auckland University