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Matsikenyeri takes Zimbabwe to victory

HARARE: Stuart Matsikenyeri struck a career best 89 from 101 balls to take Zimbabwe to victory over Bangladesh in the first one-day international on Saturday.

Zimbabwe struck 248 for eight in reply to Bangladesh's 246 for seven to win by two wickets with five balls to spare.

Matsikenyeri scored a feisty 89 off 101 balls with seven fours and a six. His previous highest score was the 73 he made against England in Bulawayo in 2004-05.

Matsikenyeri and Elton Chigumbura shared a matchwinning stand of 114 after Zimbabwe's top order had failed.

Chigumbura clipped his unbeaten 70 off 68 balls with six fours and a six.

Opener Shahriar Nafeez faced 116 balls and hit seven fours and a six in his 78, Bangladesh's top score.

Pace bowler Tawanda Mupariwa took four for 61, improving on the career-best figures of three for 19 he took against Bermuda in Trinidad in May.

Bangladesh slipped to 16 for two before Nafeez put on 59 for the third wicket with Mohammad Ashraful, who scored 25.

Habibul Bashar, who scored 40, helped Nafeez add 71 for the fourth wicket.

In reply, Zimbabwe slumped to 50 for four before Taylor and Matsikenyeri shared 51 runs to steady the innings.

Matsikenyeri and Chigumbura came together in the 26th over and they made steady progress until the 46th over, when Matsikenyeri heaved a delivery from pace bowler Shahadat Hossain to long-off, where Mashrafe Mortaza held a fine catch.

Mortaza, another pace bowler, rekindled Bangladesh's hopes when he bowled Prosper Utseya (8) and trapped Ryan Higgins (0) in front with consecutive deliveries in the 49th over, leaving Zimbabwe to score five runs off nine balls.

Chigumbura ended the match four balls later when he smashed a delivery from medium pacer Aftab Ahmed through mid-wicket for four. The second game in the five-match series will be played at the same venue on Sunday.



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