Port of Spain: Tatenda Taibu scored 107 to set Zimbabwe up for a five-run victory over the University of the West Indies' Vice Chancellor's XI in their 50 overs-a-side match on Friday at Frank Worrell Oval.
Taibu struck 11 fours and one six from 92 balls, as Zimbabwe were bowled out for 281 in 49.2 overs, after they elected to bat in their only warm-up tour match prior to a series of limited-overs match against West Indies.
Zimbabwe were fortunate to escape with the victory however, after Kraigg Brathwaite, the leading West Indies Under-19 batsman at last month's Youth World Cup in New Zealand, and fellow Barbadian Nekoli Parris added 136 for the third wicket.
Brathwaite top-scored for the Vice Chancellor's XI with 80 from 117 balls that included five fours, and Parris' 73 from 94 balls contained five fours and two sixes to lead the home team to 276 for eight from their allocation of 50 overs.
The match got very interesting in the closing stages, but two wickets from successive balls for Elton Chigumbura set the Vice Chancellor's XI back, and needing 20 from the final over, the hosts could only get 14.
Earlier, Zimbabwe were 107 for three before Taibu took charge in a 68-run stand for the fourth wicket with Stuart Matsikenyeri, who made 23.
Taibu continued to dominate, but there was little or no fight from the bottom half of the visitors' batting before the former Zimbabwe captain was run out in the closing overs trying to beef-up the total.
Zimbabwe now face West Indies a Twenty20 International on Sunday at Queen's Park Oval in the Trinidad & Tobago capital of Port of Spain.
Following this, they play five ODIs against West Indies. Sunday's T20I is the first between the two sides since the format gained international status six years ago.
Brief scores: Zimbabwe 281 off 49.2 overs (Taibu 107); West Indies' Vice Chancellor's XI 276-8 off 50 overs (Brathwaite 80, Parris 73); Zimbabwe won by five runs.