Zimbabwe, ranked 15th in the ICC ODI rankings, successfully chased down 304 with 10 balls in hand against an in-form Bangladesh thanks to terrific centuries from Sikandar Raza and Innocent Kaia. The six-wicket win was Zimbabwe's first ODI victory in the last 20 attempts against Bangladesh. 304 is also the second-highest total chased down successfully at the Harare Sports Club. It was the fourth time they chased down 300-plus totals successfully in ODIs.
Although Bangladesh managed to restrict Zimbabwe to 62 for three in the 14th over, Innocent Kaia and Sikandar Raza didn't panic at all and were ready to fight it out. The duo was willing to take a bit of time. The required run rate was close to eight-an-over at the 30-over mark but the plus point for the hosts was that they had two set batters in the middle.
Remarkably, they hit at least one boundary in each of the overs from 31 to 39 and brought the equation down to just 69 off 66.
Kaia got to his maiden ODI hundred off 115 balls. The right-handed batter got a bit impatient after the century and finally Mosaddek Hossain broke the 192-run stand in the 42nd over. Shortly after Kaia's hundred, Raza notched up his century off just 81 balls. His second fifty came off only 24 balls.
The required run rate was six when Kaia got out. So the hosts needed to just knock it around to ensure a win and a timely 42-run stand between Raza and Luke Jongwe took them closer the total.
Raza finished the game in style with a six off Mosaddek and remained unbeaten on a blistering 109-ball-135. He smashed eight fours and three sixes.
Earlier, opening batters - Tamim Iqbal and Litton Das - got Bangladesh off to a positive start with 52 for no loss in the first 10 overs. But the duo slowed down a bit after that.
Tamim timed the ball pretty well early in the innings and maintained a strike-rate close to 100 until he reached the 40s. Tamim, who was on 40 off 49 at one stage, took 79 balls to reach his fifty. On the other hand, Litton started off slow but later accelerated and reduced the gap between the number of runs and balls big time.
En route to his 88-ball-62, Tamim became the first Bangladeshi batter to score 8000 runs in ODIs. Sikandar Raza accounted for Tamim's wicket.
Litton, after scoring his fifty off 75 balls, pressed the pedal hard and before being forced to retire hurt scored 81 off 89 with the help of nine fours and a six. Tamim and Litton stitched a partnership of 119 off 25.4 overs.
Anamul Haque, in his comeback match in ODIs, played with appreciable intent and wasn't afraid to take the bowlers on. The right-hander, coming in at three, got himself going with a six off Victor Nyauchi over the square leg boundary, the shorter side of the ground. He reached his fourth ODI fifty with a six down the ground off Milton Shumba.
Anamul was dropped by Wessley Madhevere at deep cover on 71 but couldn't make use of the reprieve as he was dismissed by Victor Nyauchi some time later for 73 off 62. He added 96 off just 76 with Mushfiqur Rahim.
Bangladesh scored 90 off the final 10 overs. Mushfiqur Rahim was unbeaten on 52 off 49 and Mahmudullah played a good cameo of 20 off 12.
But it was the middle phase of the innings (overs 11-40) that made the difference. Bangladesh scored 162 in that phase while Zimbabwe scored 194.