Stuart Law, the Bangladesh coach, has put his team's five-run defeat down to poor catching and some "silly mistakes" at the wrong time. Bangladesh's batsmen put up a fight in the chase but despite a fighting maiden century from Mushfiqur Rahim fell five runs short of Zimbabwe's 250 to concede an unassailable 0-3 lead.
"I still can't get out the head the four catches we dropped today, that probably cost us," Law said after the game. Mushfiqur received support from Tamim Iqbal, who was run out, while Shakib Al Hasan, debutant Shuvagoto Hom and Mahmudullah each got starts and looked good to get Bangladesh on track only for Zimbabwe to deliver timely strikes. From 229 for 5, Bangladesh collapsed to 245 all out. Mushfiqur was the last batsman to be dismissed, holing out to long-on in the final over with six needed, after having reached his century off the previous delivery.
"You can't blame him. He's played one of the best innings of his career. It's just a shame that a guy who plays an innings like that ends up in the losing team," Law said. "He's absolutely distraught in the dressing room. If some of the batsmen who got out before him did things differently, it would've been a different story."
While giving Zimbabwe credit for their win, Law said they had better preparation ahead of the series. "Zimbabwe have had fantastic preparation; they played tough cricket against Australia A and South Africa A, leading into the series," he said. "Our preparation probably wasn't ideal with monsoon at home. We played games against our Academy, probably not the sternest test before we come here and play a team that has played tough cricket."
While Zimbabwe coach Alan Butcher was aiming for a 5-0 sweep, Law was intent on preventing it. "I don't think we need to lift the team anymore. We are well up for the game today, we fielded well in the first 20 overs. Lot of hustle, noise, encouragement. Some great stops. Even though the series is gone, there's pride at stake."
It's been a poor tour for Bangladesh so far; they also lost the one-off Test at the same venue, the Harare Sports Club. The next two ODIs will be played in Bulawayo. "We tried hard today. We had plans that we stuck to. It was looking pretty good at some stage but we came out the wrong side. We put up a good fight. Once again, credit to Zimbabwe. They showed how to bat.
"It would be nice to get out of Harare to erase some bad memories of our cricket here."