Zimbabwe beat Bangladesh in a one-day international for the first time in more than nine years with one of its greatest comebacks.
Bangladesh was made to bat first and posted an imposing 303-2 at Harare Sports Club. Zimbabwe replied with 307-5 and 10 balls to spare, pulling off its equal third highest chase. Zimbabwe lost its openers in the first two overs and was 62-3, but Innocent Kaia and Sikandar Raza both scored centuries — achieved in the same over — to lead their team to win the first of three ODIs.
Even after losing 19 straight ODIs to Bangladesh, victory was no surprise. Zimbabwe won the preceding T20 series 2-1, its first against a full ICC member.
Kaia, playing his fourth ODI, accidentally ran out Wessly Madhevere while trying for a second single, and dropped Zimbabwe to 62-3 in the 14th over.But he and Raza, in his 115th ODI, set about repairing the damage and counterattacking.
Kaia was dropped on 68 and 74 in the same over, and reached his maiden hundred off 115 balls. Two balls later, Raza got to his fourth hundred from 81 balls, the third fastest for Zimbabwe. It was only the second time two Zimbabwe batsmen scored centuries in the same ODI. The last time was in 2004.
“Innocent was brilliant out there,” Raza said.“At one point I thought we were slightly behind the game, so all I was trying to focus on is to back him and tell him that if we stay here we win this game together, to try and calm him down and try and encourage him to play good cricketing shots.”
The brilliant partnership ended at 254-4 when Kaia tried to slog Mosaddek Hossain across the line and top-edged to short fine leg. His 110 off 122 balls included 11 boundaries and two sixes, and Zimbabwe’s target was down basically to a run-a-ball.
Raza finished off the match by pulling a Mosaddek delivery for a six-over midwicket. Raza was 135 not out from 109 balls. He hit eight boundaries and six sixes. Bangladesh’s innings looked a match-winner.
The top four batsmen scored the fifties in one innings for the first time in eight years. But they batted relatively conservatively considering all the wickets in hand. There were only two boundaries in the last three overs. Captain and opener Tamim Iqbal, the only Bangladesh batsman with more than 7,000 ODI runs, passed 8,000 then was soon out for 62.