The Kenyans now trail 2-1.
Opener Alex Obanda top-scored with 65 for Kenya, adding an explosive first wicket stand of 119 with David Obuya as Kenya reached 266-9 in their allotted 50 overs at Harare Sports Club.
Medium-fast bowler Nehemiah Odhiambo was the thorn for Zimbabwe , claiming 4-61 as Zimbabwe only managed 246-9 after their 50 overs. Zimbabwe batsman Sean Williams was unable to bat for the hosts after picking up an injury while warming up.
“Look, we are happy too win but its still a long way to go,” Kenya captain Maurice Ouma said. “There is still a lot of hard work to be done, but at least we’ve given ourselves a chance.”
Kenya ’s victory was set up by the openers Obanda and Obuya. The two particularly savaged the Zimbabwe opening bowlers Elton Chigumbura and Kyle Jarvis, picking the half-volleys with style and plundering runs off short-pitched deliveries.
Obanda, the most attacking of the two, bludgeoned eight boundaries and three sixes while Obuya faced 65 balls and hit seven fours.
With the Kenyans looking well on course for a big total, part-time seamer Hamilton Masakadza brought Zimbabwe back in with some tidy bowling which saw him claim the two key wickets of the dangerous openers.
Masakadza was the pick of the bowlers for the Zimbabweans with 22-2 from six overs. Pace bowler Kyle Jarvis and veteran offspinner Ray Price also took two wickets apiece.
Taylor faced 109 balls, cracking seven boundaries and two sixes while Matsikenyeri hit three fours in 109 balls.
Zimbabwe ’s chase was shaky, slumping to 62-3 before a fourth wicket stand of 142 between Brendan Taylor and Stuart Matsikenyeri seemed to have swung the pendulum in the hosts’ favour.
Taylor saw a maiden one-day century elude him, being bowled by spinner Hiren Varaiya on 92. He cracked seven fours and two sixes in 109 balls. Varaiya then put Kenya on top again, also clean-bowling Matsikenyeri (58 off 85 balls).
“That was the key partnership,” Taylor said. ‘I let the team down. It was a poorly executed shot. Stuart got a good ball, it happens in cricket.”