Alan Butcher, the Zimbabwe coach, has said the ODI series triumph over Bangladesh is a major boost to the confidence of a team that experienced tough times in the past, adding that winning 5-0 was the next aim for his side. Zimbabwe beat Bangladesh in the one-off Test prior to this series, marking a victorious return to the five-day format after five years of self-imposed exclusion, and have won three ODIs in a row - their first ODI series win against a Test-playing nation in five years.
"It is pretty significant for everybody. From the players' point of view, they've had a tough time, getting better and to win a series, it helps boost your confidence," Butcher said after his team's tense five-run win in Harare. "We won a Test and three ODIs but there are areas of improvement. We knew that from the first two games that Bangladesh were capable of playing better than they did. And they showed it. We'd really love to have a 5-0 win."
Zimbabwe were helped by the consistency of Hamilton Masakadza, who made 74 today to follow up on his century in the Test, and Tatenda Taibu, who top-scored with 83. The finds, however, for Zimbabwe this season have been the seamers Kyle Jarvis and Brian Vitori. Jarvis was impressive in the Tests and picked up two wickets today while filling in for Ray Price. Vitori has had a sensational start to his ODI career, picking up five-fors in his first two ODIs.
"A year ago we never heard of Brian Vitori. He wasn't getting any franchise. Kyle was struggling with an injury, we weren't sure when he's coming back. Those two have really come forward."
Bangladesh put up a strong fight in the third ODI, falling just five short of Zimbabwe's 250. Brendan Taylor, the Zimbabwe captain, praised his bowlers for retaining their calm during the tense finish. "I thought we had done about enough, the ball doesn't do much in the afternoon, but we had the bowlers, the guys kept their heads together and pulled it off.
"I just thought I would keep changing my bowlers around. With no Price to contain the bowlers, Jarvis showed a mature head. [We will have] a bit of celebration tonight."
The final two games will be played in Bulawayo.