Two wickets in the first over of the match cost Zimbabwe dearly in their tri-series opener, according to the captain Graeme Cremer. He said that the visitors expected Bangladesh to open with spin, since openers Hamilton Masakadza and Solomon Mire both prefer pace early on.

Mire should have been more careful at an innocuous wide down the leg side, off which he was stumped. What stung a little more was Craig Ervine's soft dismissal two balls later, when he hit one straight to short midwicket. Cremer said that it was a body blow to Zimbabwe as Ervine plays the anchor's role in ODIs.

"We thought they would open with one spinner at least," Cremer said. "Our openers like pace on the ball. They know that. We didn't know if it was going to be Shakib [Al Hasan] or Nasir [Hossain]. We thought one of them might open.

"We look to Solomon to power those ten overs, so it's always tough to lose him early. Ervine steadies the innings, so to lose him also was really tough. Momentum definitely shifted towards Bangladesh and it is hard to get out of that. It really made it tough. But the credit goes to them. They bowled really well."

Shakib Al Hasan, who took both wickets and was later adjudged the Player of the Match, said that the Mire dismissal came unexpected.

"It wasn't a planned dismissal. I think it was a good stumping by Mushfiq bhai," he said. "He had a good day as a wicketkeeper. We needed early wickets, whether it was the first or second over. In this pitch, wickets in hand make it much easier to score in the slog overs."

Shakib also said that Zimbabwe's usual weakness against left-arm spin meant that Bangladesh opened with him and Sunzamul Islam.

"We were always successful against Zimbabwe because of left-arm spin, which is why we began with two left-arm spinners," he said. "There was help in the pitch in the early stages."

Shakib praised the pace attack for putting together a fine effort, particularly from Rubel Hossain and Mustafizur Rahman. He said that Rubel usually bowls in a tough period in the middle of the innings when batsmen are set. Mustafizur, he said, is working hard to iron out the chinks in his bowling.

"I expected them to bat better but I think we bowled really well today," Shakib said. "Mustafizur, Mashrafe bhai and Rubel did great work. Rubel always bowls when batsmen are set and scoring runs, and he delivers for the team. Nasir's four overs were important too.

"I don't think he (Mustafizur) bowled too poorly at any stage [in the recent past]," he said. "We can't expect him to take a lot of wickets all the time. I think he is improving, because he is working hard in his bowling. I am satisfied with his bowling today."

Cremer admitted that Mustafizur's famed cutters were hard to decipher at times. "He bowled really well," the Zimbabwe captain said. "His slower ball is really hard to pick up. You have to wait a long time. It is a bit different than his normal stock delivery. He bowled good areas today."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84