At Harare, October 3. England won by five wickets. Toss: Zimbabwe. International debuts: J. S. Foster, R. J. Kirtley, J. N. Snape.
Zimbabwe had not won a one-day game for almost six months, and for England it was nearly a year - so something had to give. It turned out to be Zimbabwe. England's stand-in opening attack, Matthew Hoggard and James Kirtley, gave little away, Ramprakash's off-breaks claimed his first three wickets in one-day internationals, and Jeremy Snape frustrated the batsmen with flighted, genuinely slow bowling to have both Flowers stumped in the same over and win the match award on his first England appearance. The fielding, however, was shoddy. James Foster had a troubled debut behind the stumps: he dropped Ebrahim (skying a ball from Hoggard) and fumbled his stumping of Grant Flower. Andy Flower was dropped twice on his way to 59. After the early loss of Trescothick, Knight and Hussain savaged Hondo and Nkala, giving England the perfect platform with a second-wicket stand of 98. Ramprakash and the middle order were less convincing, and Hussain was disappointed not to win with greater assurance. During the game, the referee, Naushad Ali, cast doubt on Kirtley's action in comments to an English journalist, setting off a row that rumbled on throughout the series.
Man of the Match: J. N. Snape.