Zimbabwe recorded a comfortable six-wicket win over the Netherlands in a one-day match played today at the Volharding RAP Amstels Cricket Ground in Amsterdam.
Tendai Chatara tore through the Dutch batting line-up to claim his third List A five-wicket haul as the home side folded for 142 within 38 overs.
Had it not been for Logan van Beek's unbeaten half-century, that total would have been unimaginable as Chatara and his fellow pace bowler Chris Mpofu, who finished with three wickets, ran amok.
Reeling at 40 for eight in the 14th over, the Netherlands were a relieved lot after van Beek and Timm van der Gugten put up an 86-run stand for the ninth wicket that gave their bowlers something to defend.
Van der Gutten scored four boundaries before he was dismissed for 34 – a gutsy knock that came off 58 deliveries – to leave his side on 126 for nine in the 35th over.
Three overs later, the Dutch folded for 142, with van Beek remaining unbeaten on 64, having faced 83 balls. His courageous effort included one six and six fours.
Destroyer-in-chief Chatara conceded 34 runs off 10 overs for his five wickets.
Craig Ervine top-scored with 44 as Zimbabwe chased down the target with 118 deliveries to spare.
Only 22 runs had been put on the board in the sixth over when opening batsman Solomon Mire was dismissed for eight by Shane Slater, a former Zimbabwe Under-17 player who is now turning out for the Netherlands.
Hamilton Masakadza was the next to go having scored 26, leaving Zimbabwe on 42 for two in the 10th over as the home side tried to mount an unlikely fightback.
After Sean Williams was caught out for 16, the tourists were left needing 69 more runs from 33 overs.
Ervine looked set to take Zimbabwe over the line but was unfortunate, in the 27th over, to fall just six runs short of a half-century – his 44, with five boundaries, came off 59 balls.
It was then left to Raza to seal the victory, with his unbeaten 31, which included two sixes and one four, coming off 36 deliveries.
The two sides will meet again on Thursday for the second one-day match, also at the VRA Cricket Ground, while the third will be played on Saturday at the Voorburg Cricket Club in The Hague.