An unbeaten 74-run partnership between debutant Forhad Reza and Mohammad Ashraful [ Images ] steered Bangladesh to an emphatic six-wicket victory over Kenya in the first One-Day International at the Gymkhana club in Nairobi on Saturday.
Reza, who was unbeaten on 34, proved the perfect foil for experienced right-hander Ashraful as they steadied the Bangladesh innings after a shaky start.
Ashraful played a pivotal role in the match-winning partnership, hitting 12 fours and a six from only 60 deliveries, as the tourists won the match with almost 20 overs to spare.
But it was paceman Mashrafe Mortaza [ Images ] who did the damage, claiming three wickets for 25 runs as the hosts were dismissed for a paltry 168 after being put in to bat.
The 22-year-old further exposed the weak Kenyan top order when he took three quick wickets in his opening spell and spinner Abdul Razzak added three more.
Razzak accounted for the prized wicket of Steve Tikolo [ Images ], who top-scored for Kenya with 47 runs.
The second of the three One-Day Internationals is on Sunday in Nairobi.