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May 5, 2013
Sean Williams said his personal career-best score was the last thing on his mind after his match-winning unbeaten 78 that finished the six-wicket win for Zimbabwe and levelled the three-match ODI series in Bulawayo.
He guided the chase from the moment he walked into the crease. It was 94 for 3 in the 18th over and Zimbabwe had just lost Vusimuzi Sibanda and Sikandar Raza in the space of five balls, after they had added 65 for the second wicket.
Williams immediately got to work, adding 73 for the third wicket with his captain, before finishing the job with another 86 runs in an unbroken fourth wicket partnership with Malcolm Waller.
"It obviously feels great reaching my highest score," Williams said. "But it wasn't on my mind. Obviously batting through the whole innings was on my mind, and winning the game.
"It was tough to lose a few wickets but I kept my composure till the end. It was a fantastic batting deck. It was tough to bowl on this wicket."
Williams paced his innings perfectly, mixing a cautious approach with ones and twos. There enough boundaries in his innings too; most of them came just when the Bangladesh bowlers had got a hold over their scoring.
He is one player whose record says much about Zimbabwe's selection policy. He has played fleetingly, but apart from a few low scores, he has generally been a regular performer. Williams plays spin well, a strong attribute in this batting line-up.
Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor was pleased to see Williams get to his 12th half-century, especially after he had been sidelined during the Test series after impressing in the West Indies. "It is really good to see guys like Sean, who have been out of the fold for long, to do well," Taylor said. "We contributed as a group. I am very pleased to see guys putting their hands up and getting us over the line."
Taylor brushed aside any suggestion that the toss has become important, especially due to the 9am start. He said the pitch was a good for batting but the batsmen had to be careful in the first ten overs.
"From my position behind the wicket, I could not see much seam movement," he said. "There was a bit of swing early on and I guess you just had to see off the first ten overs. Otherwise the pitch was the same throughout the day. There was very little spin on offer. It was just a good batting track."
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets hereFeeds: Mohammad Isam
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A collection of fine cricket writing on great cricket feats, and never mind the omissions
Plays of the Day from the first ODI between South Africa and India in Johannesburg