Bangladesh gatecrash Coventry's record-levelling party
BULAWAYO: Zimbabwe's Charles Coventry equalled the highest individual one-day international score on Sunday, but saw his big-hitting party gatecrashed by Tamim Iqbal as Bangladesh wrapped-up the one-day series here.
Coventry blasted an unbeaten 194 to equal former Pakistan opener Saeed Anwar's 12-year record, as Zimbabwe piled up 312-8 in their 50 overs, but Bangladesh opener Tamim then hit his country's highest individual score of 154 as the tourists took victory with 13 balls to spare.
"I was due for a big innings. I was getting good starts but not big hundreds. It would have felt better had I finished the innings," said Tamim.
Coventry praised the tourists for their battling response.
"Well done to the Bangladeshis for the way they chased. We'll be out there trying the hardest the next time," said the 26-year-old, who was playing in his 15th one-dayer.
He dominated Zimbabwe's innings with the next highest score a more modest 37.
Coventry hit seven sixes and accelerated from 129 in the 42nd over to 180 in the 47th as fans wondered if he would become the first player in history to hit a one-day international double century.
But he had to settle for a share of Anwar's record although Bangladesh could have dismissed him earlier when Mahmudullah dropped him at square leg on 137.
Coventry shared an 82-run stand for the second wicket with Hamilton Masakadza as the home side eyed levelling the five-match series at 2-2.
But they reckoned without 20-year-old left-hander Tamim who first of all made his third half-century of the series before going on to hit his highest score in his 60th international.
Tamim's 154 came off 138 balls with seven fours and six sixes.
Zimbabwe skipper Prosper Utseya looked for positives in defeat.
"The innings of 312 wasn't enough. But our game is improving. We're playing international cricket and we missed chances that should have been taken. 3-2 sounds better than 4-1 and we need to come back strong and play well for the fans."
Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan was overjoyed at another series win which followed their historic Test and ODI sweep in the West Indies.
"Tamim batted magnificently, can't get better than that. We played very good cricket against West Indies and this series too, everyone chipped in but we need to improve our fielding," said Shakib.
"Cricket is the most popular game in Bangladesh and we thank out fans for their support."
The final match of the series is here on Tuesday.