Bangladesh coach Russell Domingo admits the Zimbabwe cricket team deserve credit for the way they outplayed his side in the first two One Day Internationals (ODIs).
Sikandar Raza’s splendid second consecutive hundred, along with skipper Regis Chakabva’s maiden ODI ton, led Zimbabwe to a five-wicket victory against Bangladesh in the second ODI at Harare Sports Club on Sunday, thereby sealing the three-match ODI series with a game in hand.
It was the hosts’ first ODI series win against Bangladesh after nine years and also their first against a major cricketing nation since 2017.
Much like the first game where Raza got a century-scoring partner in Innocent Kaia, the right-hander paired with Regis Chakabva as both scored centuries in a record 201-run fifth wicket stand after Zimbabwe were struggling at one stage at 49 for four inside 15 overs.
And speaking afterwards, Domingo said although he feels that repeated and “frustrating” mistakes cost them the ODI series, Zimbabwe deserve credit for the way they have dominated his side during the series.
”I think you got to give credit to Zimbabwe and Sikandar in particular as he played fantastically well. Two of the better one-day hundreds you will find under pressure. Look we probably know we left 20 runs out yesterday, maybe 20 runs out today… we could have got more and it’s very difficult to defend in the afternoon, but full credit to Zimbabwe they thoroughly deserve the win and they outplayed us in both days. No excuses,” said Domingo.
The former South Africa coach also singled out Raza for special praise after he scored back-to-back unbeaten centuries in the two matches despite coming to the crease when his team was under pressure on both occasions.
”They have got a batter (Sikandar) who is in the form of his life. He is playing as good as any international player I have seen even in the T20Is, he played in the qualifier and he played two unbelievable games and some of the younger players like Regis and others are maturing now and getting more experience and getting a bit more knowhow about how to win games. They got a bit more structure in their batting line-up and they cleared the boundary in the middle. They also played spin a lot better than we played and that is the biggest plus factor for them,” he said.
The two sides will meet in the third ODI at the same venue on Wednesday with Zimbabwe aiming to complete a series whitewash while Bangladesh will be targeting a consolation win.