Zimbabwe v Bangladesh, 2nd ODI, Bulawayo May 5, 2013

Career-best added bonus for Williams

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 here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shabbir on May 7, 2013, 7:14 GMT

    Williams played his knock brilliantly, no fancy strokes, slowly, deliberately, no rash shots and he showed a full understanding of the required run rate and what he needed to do. Being left out of the first ODI could have led him to be more fiery to prove a point to selectors but instead he took a mature approach which gave him just rewards.

    Some of BD's high profile batsmen could learn a lot from this approach!

  • Monirul on May 6, 2013, 13:24 GMT

    Being a Bangladesh ardent supporter I really applaud Williams' approach to the game. Very matured, indeed.

  • sadequl on May 6, 2013, 7:14 GMT

    wtg Williams & congrats Zim on your great success. Keep believing in your selves & for sure U guys can do much better then this as like as your ancestors .

  • Andrew on May 6, 2013, 7:13 GMT

    It is particularly poor that very good players like Williams are not on central contracts and ZC is only prepared to offer them $100 per week in the off season! No wonder guys like Ervine are leaving. Williams IS a performer and should be a regular middle order batsman. He is the one guy who reminds me a bit of Andy Flower in style and temperament. Well done Willo.

  • Sachin on May 6, 2013, 5:34 GMT

    Why Ballance doesnt play for Zim, is he not proud to represent the country, money is not everything in life, if he comes back to Zim and paly atleast for 2 years with Zim team it will improve the quality of Zim batting too and same for Ervine brothers. We want to see competitive Zimbabwe team like in late 90's and early 2000's as they visited India every year for Onedayers in tri series becuase of there competiveness and played tests every 2 years. Maskadaza, Taylor, S. Ervine, C. Ervine, Ballance, Williams, Walller, Chigumbura, Uteseya, Jarvis, Masakadaza, Meth, Chatara will make good squad and can start beating goos teams.

  • Eugene on May 6, 2013, 4:45 GMT

    Sean Williams is a great player and with Taylor, Waller and a returning Ervine our middle order looks set.

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