It must be all the more impressive, then, that a month on we're talking about a crushing Zimbabwean victory.
The Bangladeshis, playing Zimbabwe for the first time since they were defeated in 2011, have been defeated again. This time, the loss is by the enormous margin of 335 runs, and can be boiled down to one key difference between the two teams: discipline. For four days, the Zimbabweans were clinical and disciplined in everything they did. In the field, they chased every ball and threw every return in to Richmond Mutumbami over the stumps. With the bat, they valued their wickets, and with the ball they bowled tight lines. Judging by the lazy, slashing hack that accounted for Shahriar Nafees, the Zimbabweans just wanted this victory more than their opponents.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the renewed application of skipper Brendan Taylor. In the Caribbean, he was regularly undone by loose shots, like a baffling reverse-thing only a few balls into his stay at the wicket. Fast forward a month, and he bats for eight hours in the first innings to post an adhesive 171. Not content with this, he then returned in the second innings for a four hour stay that earned him an unbeaten century. Clearly a man who thrives on responsibility, he now averages half a run under sixty as captain, with four centuries in seven games. This mindset has rubbed off on the rest of his players, particularly the likes of Graeme Cremer who, with a batting average that previously towered at a lofty six, hung around for 42 and 43 in this Test, even sacrificing a maiden fifty when it meant saving his captain from being run out.
Good discipline is also what helped the New Zealanders to get within a single delivery of a series defeat of England this winter. A new-look side with little Test experience and even less pedigree (Peter Fulton, to all intents and purposes, had failed as a Test cricketer before a surprise recall) worked well together and gave 100% to defeat a well-regarded England. Fulton, who limits himself to a few scoring shots, picked and chose when to use them to record twin centuries, just like Brendan Taylor. Neil Wagner, with little apparent X-factor, persisted at bowling a line and length, and slowly chiselled batsmen from the crease.
Talent isn't all it takes to win matches, and Bangladesh don't win many.