Chevrons tame Tigers

By Lawrence Trusida, Sports Editor

Sikandar Raza and Innocent Kaia struck brilliant centuries at Harare Sports Club to help Zimbabwe beat Bangladesh in a One Day International (ODI) after nine years and take a 1-nil lead in the three-match series.

It was Zimbabwe’s brilliant second innings display to chase down a target of 304 with ease to end a 17-match losing streak in ODIs against Bangladesh.

It is only the third time that Bangladesh have lost a game scoring in excess of 300, and the fourth time Zimbabwe have won a match chasing a 300-plus score.

On a day that had everything from twin hundreds, fifties, players being stretchered out injured, drop catches, sixes and comebacks, the Chevrons’ win stood out.

Bangladesh batted first and half centuries from Litton Das, Anamul Haque, Tamim Iqbal and a 52 not out Mushfiqur Rahim had them sitting pretty at 303 runs for the loss of just two wickets after 50 overs.

When the Chevrons came into chase, Bangladesh started off effectively by taking three wickets for 62 but it was Innocent Kaia playing just his fourth match and Sikandar Raza who kept the score board ticking and got the boundaries when needed.

The pair added 192 runs for the fourth wicket – breaking a 25-year-old partnership record and becoming the new best for Zimbabwe and eclipsing the Flower brothers, Andy and Grant, effort from October 1997.

Raza and Kaia also became only the second Zimbabwean duo to score centuries in the same ODI innings.

What made their partnership remarkable is that they came together when the score was 66 for 3 with the game looking like it was slipping away.

Kaia displayed a refreshing batting approach, while Raza, recently named Player of the Series at the T20 World Cup qualifier, grabbed the game with both hands and struck 14 boundaries including six sixes, the last of which was the winning hit.

Chevrons vice-captain Regis Chakabva said, “Obviously, it’s really good to get a first win like that. But I think you know credit goes to Raza and Innocent. The way they went about after we lost a few early wickets and we got back to it was really important to for them to kick on the way they did and you know, we couldn’t have asked for anything better. I thought we did very well in that first 20 overs. We didn’t get wickets, but they also didn’t get away from us. So, we’re quite happy with where we were. We let it go a little bit in the middle, but we came back strong and then you know, and I thought they were probably 20 or 30 short so we’re quite happy with three and by that point.”

Sikander Raza was named man of the match for his 135 not out as well as picking up one wicket from his bowling.

The two teams meet again this Sunday for the second match in the three-match series.