Zimbabwe down Tigers in ODIs after 9 years
An outstanding partnership from Sikandar Raza and Innocent Kaia managed to seal a victory in favour of hosts Zimbabwe as they won by five wickets against Bangladesh in the first ODI of the three-match series at the Harare Sports Club today. And eventually, Bangladesh lost to Zimbabwe in ODIs after nine years.
In the end, Bangladesh's commendable 303 total, which they posted after being sent in to bat first, proved to be insufficient as the home side brilliantly chased down the target with five wickets and 10 balls to spare despite early hiccups.
Following a T20I series loss earlier in the tour, Bangladesh came into the ODI series as the favourites on paper with a 19-match winning streak against Zimbabwe in ODIs, and with the 50-over format being the Tigers' preferred format in general. However, Zimbabwe had other ideas.
Chasing 304, Zimbabwe found themselves in a spot of bother at 62 for three after 13.1 overs. However, in-form Sikandar Raza came in at number five and strung a memorable partnership, one for the ages. Raza and Kaia combined to 192 runs off 172 balls, which is their highest partnership for any wicket against Bangladesh in ODIs.
It was all too late for the Tigers by the time Kaia got out after the rookie batter struck his maiden ODI century in his fourth match in the format. Kaia's anchoring 122-ball 110 was laced with 11 fours and two maximums.
From the other end, Raza played the role of the aggressor and wreaked havoc on Bangladesh bowlers, who kept losing their confidence as the game progressed. Raza showed his class throughout his innings as he brought up his fourth ODI ton off 81 deliveries.
Luke Jongwe added to the Tigers' misery with a crisp 18-ball 24 while Raza remained unbeaten on 135 off 109 balls, striking eight fours and six maximums, and the star batter hit the winning runs with a huge six off Mosaddek Hossain.
Earlier in the first innings, all Bangladesh batters found themselves among runs to reach a 300-plus score, with Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, Anamul Haque Bijoy, Mushfiqur Rahim all reaching fifties.