Bangladesh in Zimbabwe 2013

Jubilant Zimbabwe keen to improve

Zimbabwe thrashed Bangladesh by a huge margin in the first Test, and hope to better their performance in the second

Firdose Moonda in Harare

April 21, 2013

Comments: 6 | Text size: A | A

Zimbabwe walk off the pitch after their crushing victory, Zimbabwe v Bangladesh, 1st Test, 4th day, Harare, April 20, 2013
Zimbabwe celebrated their win against Bangladesh, but they know the job isn't finished © Associated Press
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The fans could hardly believe what they saw on the scoreboard in Harare. "Zimbabwe won by 335 runs." Never mind the last three words, the first two were enough for them.

Many wanted to immortalise the moment and cameras came out in dozens to capture images that confirmed Zimbabwe's victory over Bangladesh. They snapped away - at the writing on the board, the singing fans on the wooden stand, the team huddle on the field and themselves, beaming with the afterglow of victory.

A day earlier, the same people were debating whether or not Zimbabwe should enforce the follow-on. Popular opinion was that they should, given the lead of 255, because on the evidence of Bangladesh's batting there was an opportunity for an innings win. Then someone brought the masses down to earth by reminding them that just a few weeks ago, talk of following on only applied if Zimbabwe were being put in again. Everyone laughed. How things had changed.

Movements on the ICC rankings

  • Batting:
  • 29 (+41) Brendan Taylor
  • 34 (-3) Tamim Iqbal
  • 37 (-8) Shakib Al Hasan
  • 40 (-3) Mushfiqur Rahim
  • 50 (-4) Nasir Hossain
  • 64 (-3) Junaid Siddique
  • 65 (+4) M.Ashraful
  • 69 (-3) Shahriar Nafees
  • 79 (-4) Mahmudullah
  • 84 (-13) V.Sibanda
  • 85 (+11) Jahurul Islam
  • 100 (+25) Graeme Cremer
  • Bowling
  • 15 ( - ) Shakib Al Hasan
  • 43 (+14) Kyle Jarvis
  • 59 ( - ) Sohag Gazi
  • 68 (+24) Robiul Islam
  • 71 (-2) Mahmudullah
  • 87 (+42) S. Masakadza
  • 92 (+21) Graeme Cremer

Zimbabwe's turnaround was as unexpected as it was spectacular, and it could be another restart for a team that has had the handbrake pulled on their attempts to move forward. It shows that cricket has not been crippled and, although it was badly wounded, it has made some sort of recovery.

"This is a confidence booster after the thrashing we got in West Indies," Stephen Mangongo, Zimbabwe's interim coach said. "We got on to our two feet, which is important."

Zimbabwe's victory was as important for team morale as it was for demonstrating the progress of individual players. Brendan Taylor and Kyle Jarvis now have career best ICC rankings, Graeme Cremer moved up in both the batting and bowling rankings while Shingi Masakadza also made himself known.

The hosts achieved their success by nullifying Bangladesh's strengths: not allowing their spinners to get into the game and keeping their best batsmen, Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim, quiet. In the next match Zimbabwe will have to do the same, and will probably also have Tamim Iqbal, almost recovered from a thumb injury, to tie down.

That's the difference this time: there is a next match. When Zimbabwe made their Test comeback in August 2011, they celebrated like there was no tomorrow because in cricketing terms, there wasn't. One-off fixtures were a good way to re-enter the longest format and Zimbabwe had four of them. But it was also too spread out for them to develop any long-term strategies and the lack of match time showed, especially when they went overseas and battled to adapt to conditions.

This series gives Zimbabwe an opportunity to change that. With both Tests being at the same venue, it will allow them to isolate areas that need to be worked on - such as the performance of the top order against medium-pacer Robiul Islam - and measure their development.

While Zimbabwe's performance against Bangladesh was dominant, it was not perfect and they know it. There was much to celebrate and Taylor and the team did when they walked off the park to the sounds of the traditional song Shosholoza and their fans saluting them. There was also much to reflect on.

After their change-room celebrations, they joined their other halves for a few quiet ones. They may have gone on to wilder things after that but while at the ground, they provided sobering illustration that they know the job is not done. "It's nice to have some momentum but we know Bangladesh always seem to bounce back on us. We can't get complacent at all," Taylor said. "If we play the way we played in this game, we are going to be tough to beat. We are going to find the areas where we can improve, go to training and keep trying to better ourselves."

Zimbabwe understand one victory does not mean the end of their aims, as it did in 2011. It's just the beginning. If the schedule is as it should be, Zimbabwe will have Tests against Sri Lanka and Pakistan at home in the next six months. Those challenges will be greater than the one Bangladesh pose now and the only way to prepare adequately for will be to repeat and improve the showing in next week's Test.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by BARFI on (April 23, 2013, 19:04 GMT)

Bravo, you desrved to be a winner

Posted by n0n0nsense on (April 22, 2013, 10:20 GMT)

I am a Bangladeshi and I am very glad about Zim's performance. They really played a better cricket than BD and BD should learn from them. The loss does not make BD a worthless team overnight. It just implies that the batsmen could not do justice to their ability. Maybe there was a problem with their mindset.

Posted by Anti_ZCFOutkast on (April 22, 2013, 3:13 GMT)

Once Zimbabwe has a real coach again, hopefully more progress will be made.

Posted by   on (April 21, 2013, 23:30 GMT)

Graeme cremer turned it a mile, loved watching the Bangladesh tale against him. Cremer was instrumental for the win as well. He isnt getting the credit he deserves.

Posted by Faizans on (April 21, 2013, 20:14 GMT)

the best thing about this team of ZIM is that they are hungry for success , there is no Superstar in the team so 11 players work as team and always backing each other. If ZIM cricket administration will give this team good exposure and complete backing I am sure this team will do better then the team of early 2000s . BEST OF LUCK ZC..

Posted by   on (April 21, 2013, 14:06 GMT)

I glad for the victory but there are lot of arereas that need seriouS attention.the batting of the top order is catastrophic u can imagine the way we collapsed playing aginst teams like SA,WI ,pakistan we wil score only a paltry hundred.I just want to see my fellow black guys rising to occassion lyk taylor did esp hamilton sibanda chigumbura,they need to prove their worth in the team.atlst taylor's perfomance gives us a glimmer of hope that if we put the rght people on the rght job zim cricket can only get bigger n bigger in perfomance. I pray that ZC sign Streak n Flower n keep thz guyz,they are the guys wth practical experience who cn only inspire thz young lads. Listen to the praise taylor has on flower how cloz they work together n now he is the only zim player to twin century.I hope they ZC will improve their admin n put their house in order.we can't afford to keep losing players to other countries n clubs pliz ZC.we love our country let's strive to mek it better

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