Dhaka, Oct 21: Imrul Kayes starred with 144 as Bangladesh recorded a 28-run victory over Zimbabwe in Sunday's opening one-day international.
Bangladesh were missing a number of key men and had captain Mashrafe Mortaza still not fully fit, yet Imrul produced a sublime individual display for his depleted side in Dhaka.
Mashrafe would have been concerned as a relatively steady start seemed set to give way to a batting collapse when Kyle Jarvis (4-37) took three wickets in a hurry.
However, with Bangladesh reeling on 139-6, opener Imrul combined with Mohammad Saifuddin (50) in a 127-run stand for the seventh wicket.
The duo's partnership helped lift the hosts to 271-8 after 50 overs, seizing control of the match despite Imrul's late departure to Jarvis that prompted a standing ovation and congratulations from his opponents.
Imrul's stunning day continued when he contributed to the run out of visiting skipper Hamilton Masakadza for 21, leaving Zimbabwe on 63-3 in their reply.
The tourists fought valiantly to keep the pressure on, Sean Williams scoring an unbeaten 50, but they still fell short in the first of three ODI matches between the two nations.
A late flurry did narrow the final margin to 28 runs, with Mehidy Hasan (3-46) key in limiting Zimbabwe to 243-9 despite Jarvis making 37 from 33 deliveries.