Zimbabwe's tour of Bangladesh didn't get off to an encouraging start with the tourists going down by 25 in their warm-up one-dayer against the Bangladesh Cricket Board's XI. The Zimbabweans did well to restrict the opponents to 223 in the allotted fifty overs, but then didn't capitalise on their position, ultimately succumbing to the Bangladeshi spin bowlers and falling short of the target.
Winning the toss, the BCB XI opted to bat first. But the team got off to a shaky start, losing opener Shahriar Nafees for 10 with the score at 18 in the fifth over. Zimbabwe seamer Chris Mpofu struck the first blow, before his partner Keegan Meth, joined in to rattle the top order an reduce the hosts to 52/4 in the 12th over. Then middle-order batsmen Asif Ahmed anhd Marshall Ayub came to the fore, building a stabilising partnership and reviving the innings. But Ayub went after a watchful 13 and his side was further in trouble at 95/5.
Ahmed then joined forces with Saghir Hossain and the two put on 54 runs for the sixth wicket before Ahmed was out for 46 and BCB XI were 149/6 in the 37th over. Hossain put on a flurry of small stands with the latter order, squeezing out as many runs as possible. But when he got out, it was left to the tail to take the side over 200 and thereafter, to the modest total of 223 in fifty overs. Meth was the most successful bowler for Zimbabwe, picking up for 4 wickets, but was a tad expensive having conceded 46 runs in his 8 overs.
In reply, Zimbabwe got off to a disastrous start, losing opener Hamilton Masakadza with no runs on the board. The other opener Brendon Taylor, and one-down bat Chamu Chibhabha, moved along quite briskly before Taylor was out for 17 and Zimbabwe had lost their second wicket for 33. Then captain Tatenda Taibu mixed resources with Chibhabha to take their side to 66, before Zimbabwe underwent a middle-order collapse, losing their next five wickets for 42 runs.
At a 108/7, the tourists were in dire straights, but watchful innings from Keegan Meth and Prosper Utseya added 53 runs, before Meth fell to the spin of Asif Ahmed for 25 with the score at 161/8. Ahmed also accounted for Utseya's wicket five runs later, leaving the tail-enders to put on a last-ditched stand of 28 runs before the final wicket was down and Zimbabwe were all out for 194 runs in 46.1 overs. The top order had struggled against off-spinner Noor Hossain, who ended with impressive figures of 3/40 in 8 overs.
Zimbabwe now play the first game of the five-match ODI series against the Bangaldesh team on Dec 1 at Dhaka.