9.55pm I don't remember the last time Bangladesh were this clinical. Very often, they have belligerent starts, then slow down through the middle, largely due to failure to rotate the strike, then slog and lose wickets, and end up limping over the line, usually with Shakib or another veteran helping them over. But there was none of that today. No Shakib. No middle-overs meltdown. No scraping through. Just a thoroughly dominant performance, thrashing a Zimbabwe side with some unbelievable hitting. They lost Liton early, but once Imrul and Soumya settled in, they never looked back. They were relentless in their hitting, finding the boundary with effortless frequency and mowing the target down. Zimbabwe had their own heroes in Sean Williams and Brendan Taylor, but it was nowhere enough to stop them getting overpowered by Bangladesh's batting might.
Ahnaf Tahmid: "Back to back two matches won by hitting a SIX !! Shows you how dominant Bangladesh have been in this last 2 matches."
"We had a good outing with the bat," says Hamilton Masakadza. "We thought we had a good score, but the second-wicket partnership took the game away from us. Different mindset in the Tests, a few of the guys got some runs on the board, and hopefully we can carry that confidence."
Soumya Sarkar is Man of the Match. He says he's very pleased to play this innings. He's been out of the team for some time, so that innings felt good. It was a batting-friendly pitch, and he took an opportune moment to play a big innings.
Imrul kayes is Man of the Series. Highest run-tally in a three-match series for Bangladesh. "It's been a great series for me. I tried my best and wanted to do something better and something different. Soumya is a positive player. He's a class batsman. My pressure was released by him. I will try my best in the Test series as well."
"Coming back from Asia Cup, we had a lot of confidence," says Mashrafe Motaza. "Our bowling needs to improve, even from my side. We lost some rhythm, but we did alright. The bowlers did well, even with the inexperience, we restricted them to 285, which was a good effort. Soumya and Imrul played with lot of calm. I hope our Test team will do well."
Zimbabwe's horrid time in ODIs continues with yet another clean sweep. Can they salvage something in the Tests? They have some time to empty this bag and come out fresh. FOr now, this is all we have. Hop onto the T20I between Pakistan and Australia if your appetite for cricket isn't satiated yet. From Hemant, Debayan and myself, it's goodbye.
RJ Mahfuj: "Well Played Kayes ! Welcome to the sweet problem of picking one from three for the opening stand with Tamim ! My choice: Tamim & Kayes at the opening. Soumya and Liton, choose one for 3 or 7."