SYLHET        -          Bangladesh claimed a record ODI victory by 169 runs on Sunday, Liton Das inspiring a thrashing of Zimbabwe in Sylhet.  Liton hit 126 off 105 balls with 13 fours and two sixes and was involved in a few sizable partnerships as Bangladesh dominated the Zimbabwe bowlers after Mashrafe Murtaza opted to bat first. Mohammad Mithun hit 50 off 41 balls while Mohammad Saifuddin remained unbeaten on 28 off 16 balls as Bangladesh raced past the 300-run mark before posting their highest score against Zimbabwe.

Liton and Tamim Iqbal put on 60 runs in the opening stand before debutant all-rounder Wesley Madhevere trapped Tamim in front for 24 for Zimbabwe’s first breakthrough. Liton and Najmul Hossain then added 80 runs for the second but several dismissals slowed their innings as Najmul fell for 29 and Mushfiqur Rahim departed for 19.

Liton brought his first hundred since Asia Cup final in 2018 in 95 balls with boundary over mid-wicket off Donald Tiripano before he limped off the ground soon with a muscle cramp. Mithun and Mahmudullah Riyad (32) added 68 runs for the fourth wicket to set-up the base for a late onslaught. Chris Mpofu finished with the highest figures of 2-68 for Zimbabwe.

Debutant Wesley Madhevere (35) made the chase somewhat respectable, but Tinotenda Mutombodzi edged Mashrafe Mortaza (2-35) to Saifuddin to hand Bangladesh victory by 169 runs, eclipsing its previous biggest winning margin in the format of 163, set against Sri Lanka in January 2018. Mortaza also became only the fifth bowler to take 100 ODI wickets as a captain, a feat previously achieved by Wasim Akram, Shaun Pollock, Imran Khan and Jason Holder. The second ODI between Bangladesh and Zimbabwe will be played tomorrow (Tuesday) at the same venue.