Harare, Aug 6 (IANS) Aided by brilliant centuries from Innocent Kaia and Sikanda Raza, Zimbabwe registered one of the most memorable victories in their cricketing history defeating Bangladesh by five wickets in a high-scoring first One-day International at the Harare Sports Club.
This was Zimbabwe's first ODI win against Bangladesh in nine years after a memorable run chase that saw the visitors scoring a mammoth 303/2 before Zimbabwe -- who had recently clinched the T20I series 2-1 -- overhauled the total with 10 balls to spare.
This was the home team's fourth successful run chase of 300 or more in ODIs in Harare.
Conceding 303/2 after opting to bowl first, Zimbabwe's hopes suffered a blow early when the openers fell inside the first two overs to leave them reeling at 6/2. Wesley Madhevere was run out after a promising stand, but Zimbabwe found Sikandar Raza coming to the rescue again.
In the company of Innocent Kaia, Raza helped Zimbabwe out of the rut and into the driver's seat. The duo kept going, pushing down the required rate with a perfectly-paced partnership.
Kaia completed his maiden ODI ton while Raza compiled his fourth as the duo put on a 192-run partnership, the third-highest ever for Zimbabwe in ODIs. Hamilton Mazakadza and Raza himself hold the record for the highest stand (224 runs) against Afghanistan in 2014.
Even when Kaia was eventually dismissed for 110, Zimbabwe were well on course to seal the game. Raza remained unbeaten on 135 as Zimbabwe registered a memorable win for the ages.
This was their third highest run chase, with the top one coming eleven years ago against New Zealand in Bulawayo. This was also their second ODI win in 2022, having beat Sri Lanka in Pallekele in January this year.
Notably, this is Zimbabwe's first win in ODIs against Bangladesh since they beat them in Bulawayo in May 2013. They had lost 19 successive ODIs to Bangladesh in between.
Brief scores: Bangladesh 303/2 in in 50 overs (Tamim Iqbal 62, Litton Das 81 retd hurt, Anamul Haque 73, Mushfiqur Rahim 52 not out) lost to Zimbabwe 307/5 in 48.2 overs (Innocent Kaia 110, Sikandar Raza 135 not out) by five wickets.
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