NatWest Series, Trent Bridge. Zimbabwe 195-6 beat England 191-8 by four wickets
The NatWest Series began with a shock as Grant Flower hit a brilliant 96 not out to give Zimbabwe their first win in 10 one-day matches against England.
The tourists were always chasing a low target but they recovered from the despair of 15-4 in the 10th over as Flower and Stuart Matsikenyeri (44) put on 96 for the fifth wicket.
When Matsikenyeri, who went into the match with a batting average of 1.00 in one-day internationals, was finally out, Zimbabwe needed 4.50 runs an over to win and Flower was able to shepherd the lower order to victory.
For England, Richard Johnson and Darren Gough were superb with the new ball and Andrew Flintoff (53) shone in yet another patchy batting display.
But the absence of a quality second all-rounder to back up Flintoff was again felt, and Ashley Giles was desperately ineffective, in stark contrast to the excellent Zimbabwe spinners.
Robert Key and Anthony McGrath were impotent with the bat in carbon-copy slowcoach innings, and McGrath lacked both economy and penetration with his bowling.
Heath Streak had little hesitation in electing to bowl first after winning the toss and he himself struck the first blow in his second over when Vikram Solanki cut straight to point.
Marcus Trescothick (38) hit four boundaries off one Andy Blignaut over but it was Streak who got rid of the rapid-scoring left-hander and it was the 200th one-day wicket for the Zimbabwe captain.
By then Michael Vaughan's wretched summer had reached its latest low ebb when, on 13, he top-edged a pull of Sean Ervine to be caught by wicket-keeper Tatenda Taibu.
Robert Key's tortuous innings ended when Ray Price bowled him all ends up in the middle of his excellent spell which cost just 20 runs in 10 overs.
And when Flintoff fell to the other spinner, Dougie Marillier, after top-edging a leg-side slog to mid-wicket, Zimbabwe knew they had a fine chance to win the match.
England looked strong favoruites to win as four of Zimbabwe's top five batsmen all fell to catches in the in-field with Johnson and Gough bowling immaculately.
Matsikenyeri could have been run out by McGrath at the very start of his innings. The opportunity was missed, and how costly it proved to be.
Flower was patience personified at the start of his innings while Matsikenyeri chanced his arm and played some bright shots.
Together they repaired the innings in fine style to lay the foundations for victory.
England: Marcus Trescothick, Vikram Solanki, Michael Vaughan (capt.), Robert Key, Andrew Flintoff, Anthony McGrath, Rikki Clarke, Chris Read (wkt.), Ashley Giles, Richard Johnson, Darren Gough.
Zimbabwe: Dion Ebrahim, Doug Marillier, Grant Flower, Tatenda Taibu (wkt.), Stuart Matsikenyeri, Travis Friend, Heath Streak (capt.), Andy Blignaut, Sean Ervine, Ray Price, Gary Brent.