Zimbabwe beat Bangladesh by five wickets in the first of the three-match ODI series on Friday in Harare.
It was Zimbabwe’s first ODI win against Bangladesh in nine years— the last was in 2013 in Bulawayo.
The hosts chased down a target of 304 with 10 balls in hand. Sikandar Raza hit his fourth ODI hundred and remained unbeaten for 135 of 109 balls with eight fours and six sixes.
Align with Raza, Innocent Kaia also hit a ton for Zimbabwe, which was his maiden ton in the format.
In reply to Bangladesh’s total of 303 runs, Zimbabwe lost two early wickets. But they never looked out of the race. In the third wicket stand, Wesley Madhevere and Innocent added 60 runs.
After recovering from the early damage, Zimbabwe made a solid foundation. In the fourth wicket stand, Raza and Innocent added 192 runs on the board. It was the third highest partnership for Zimbabwe in ODIs, and it was the highest ODI partnership of Zimbabwe against Bangladesh.
For Bangladesh, Mustafizur Rahman, Shoriful Islam, Mosaddek Hossain and Mehidy Hasan bagged a wicket each.
Earlier, Opener Liton Das hit 81 and Anamul Haque scored 73 in his ODI comeback to guide Bangladesh to 303 for two after losing the toss and being inserted to bat first.
Bangladesh lost the three-match T20I series ahead of the ODIs. Right after switching the format, Bangladesh started to display their ODI prowess.
Tamim Iqbal and Liton added 119 runs in the opening stand before Sikandar Raza got Tamim for 62 off 88 balls. Anamul, struggling to bring his domestic form into international cricket, finally hit a fifty. He made 73 off 63 balls with six hours and three sixes.
After Liton retired hurt, Mushfiqur Rahim, who skipped the previous series against the West Indies due to personal reasons, came to the wicket and scored 52 off 49 balls. Mahmudullah Riyad remained unbeaten for 20 off 12 balls.
Bangladesh fielded a three-bowler pace attack that included Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam and Mustafizur Rahman.
The Tigers had won 19 ODIs on the trot against Zimbabwe prior to today's contest.
But these stats did not help them to make a good start to the three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe. The hosts have finally broken the drought of not winning an ODI against Bangladesh for a long time.
“I didn't think we had enough on the board,” Tamim, the Bangladesh captain said after the match. “We could have pushed a little more, we were 15-20 runs short. We knew we had to bat like a Test match in the first 10-15 overs.”
Bangladesh’s opener Liton had to retire hurt with a hamstring problem. Had he not left the crease at 81, Bangladesh would have got a few more runs on the board.
The batter might not be able to take part in the remaining matches of this series as the captain has indicated after the match. The last two matches will be played on August 7 and 10 at the same venue.
Regis Chakabva, the Zimbabwe captain, praised Raza and Innocent for their outstanding effort with the bat.
“The way they kicked on after losing early wickets, couldn't ask for anything better. We were happy with the first 20 overs despite not getting any wickets, we felt they were 20-30 short,” he said.