16 August 2009
A superb match winning 154 from Tamim Iqbal guided Bangladesh to their highest ever run chase in ODI history as they defeated Zimbabwe by 4 wickets at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo today. Batting first, Zimbabwe posted 312 for 8 in 50 overs, but had no answer to a professional batting display from Bangladesh. With this win Bangladesh have taken an unassailable 3-1 lead in the 5 match GrameenPhone series with one match to play.
Zimbabwe top order batsman Charles Coventry blasted a 156 ball 194 to equal Saeed Anwar's record as the highest the highest individual innings in ODI cricket. He smashed 16 boundaries and 7 sixes in the monumental innings. He was dropped twice, on 13 by Syed Rasel at deep square-leg and again on 137 when Mahmudullah put down a chance at square-leg, but he grabbed the opportunities with a slick display of power hitting.
But Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal had different idea and nullified the Coventry heroics with a career best 154 which laid the platform for Bangladesh to eclipse the Zimbabwe total with 13 balls to spare.
Tamim smashed seven fours and six sixes in his 138-ball classy innings but fell to Ray Price with 34 still required. Bangladesh batsmen kept their composure and guided the tourists to series victory when Mahmudullah hit two consecutive boundaries in the 48th over of the match.
"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 at the post match presentation ceremony.
Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan hailed the professional attitude of his team in the run chase and showered special praise for opener Tamim Iqbal
"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.
Bangladesh have now completed three consecutive series win in ODI cricket. This is a remarkable turnaround for the Tigers who suffered major setback in ODI cricket after their heroics in World Cup 2007.
The final match of the series will be played at the same venue on Tuesday.