Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza was delighted with his team's "professionalism, intensity and momentum" as the hosts booked their place in Sunday's tri-series final.
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza, who set a new national record with his 30th ODI victory as captain, heaped praise on the “brilliant” Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan after his side made it three wins out of three in the ODI tri-series.
In match five in Dhaka – the penultimate group match of the competition – Bangladesh posted 216/9 on a tricky pitch, before blasting Zimbabwe out for a paltry 125 from just 36.3 overs, as the hosts confirmed their position at the top of the table with a 91-run victory.
"We thought it'd be a 280-300 surface at the toss, but it was a difficult pitch to bat on,” said Mortaza in the post-match presentation. “Tamim and Shakib were brilliant and although we did lose a bunch of wickets in the middle, our No. 9, 10 and 11 added 45-odd runs together. When we came out to bowl, we wanted professionalism from the boys, and they all turned up. It's important to keep the intensity and momentum.”
Tamim pipped Shakib for the Player of the Match award, denying the latter a hat-trick of accolades in this tournament. Bangladesh’s experienced opener, who has scored 244 runs at an average of 122 so far in the competition, said: “On this kind of wicket, you just need to be patient and hit the loose balls. I thought my dismissal wasn't great – [I] should've batted through. A score of 230-240 would've been ideal."
Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer was disappointed with his side’s batting display. "Difficult surface here – all of them look similar, but they all play different,” he said. “[We] were pleased with the 216 we restricted them [to], but our batting was bad. It was nice to get Tamim out (via his own bowling), and we did claw it back nicely, especially since we bowled them out. I thought we gave Bangladesh some soft wickets. It's always tough to recover after a few early wickets.”
At the innings break, wicket-keeper Mushfiqur Rahim was confident his side had posted enough on a difficult batting track. "[With] the bowling attack we have, I knew we were in with a shot,” he said. “The 45 runs by the tailenders gave them the confidence with the ball as well. Our motto is to keep the momentum going.”
Zimbabwe, who have won one and lost three of their matches in the tri-series, must now sweat over the result of the final group match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka on Thursday to find out if they will face the hosts in Sunday's final.
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