It has been 12 years since Charles Coventry equalled the then record for the highest individual score in men’s ODIs, with an unbeaten 194 (his only ODI century) against Bangladesh at the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo. This innings remains the highest score in an ODI defeat as well as the highest for Zimbabwe. On that note, here is a look at the six highest ODI scores by Zimbabwean batsmen.
194* by Charles Coventry v Bangladesh, Fourth ODI, Bulawayo, 2009
Needing a win to stay alive in the series, Zimbabwe totalled 312/8 due to Coventry’s record knock, which equalled Saeed Anwar’s 194 for Pakistan against India in 1997-98. Coming in at number three, he added 107 for the fifth wicket with Stuart Matsikenyeri to rescue his team from 111/4, faced 156 balls and hit 16 fours and seven sixes. However, Tamim Iqbal replied with 154 to steer the Tigers to a four-wicket win.
178* by Hamilton Masakadza v Kenya, Fifth ODI, Harare, 2009-10
Masakadza collected his second big score of the series to secure a 4-1 win for Zimbabwe, bettering the 156 he had made in the opening match. He set the tone through an opening stand of 127 with Forster Mutizwa (55), before adding a further 102 for the second wicket with Brendan Taylor (52). He struck 17 fours and four sixes during his 167-ball effort. Responding to an imposing 329/3, Kenya were bowled out for 187.
172* by Craig Wishart v Namibia, World Cup Group Stage, Harare, 2002-03
Zimbabwe’s World Cup campaign got off to a winning start against ODI debutants Namibia. Central to this performance was Wishart’s innings – the first ODI score of more than 150 by a Zimbabwean, and which was then the fifth highest score in World Cup history. The opener faced 151 balls, creaming 18 fours and three sixes en route. Zimbabwe’s 340/2 was then their highest total and gave them an 86-run D/L win.
156 by Hamilton Masakadza v Kenya, First ODI, Harare, 2009-10
The Chevrons kicked off the all-African duel with a 91-run win spearheaded by Masakadza, who shared in an opening stand of 121 with Mark Vermeulen on his way to 156 from 151 balls. He helped himself to 11 fours and six sixes before being run out in the 49th over, boosting the total to 313/4. He finished the series with a colossal 467 runs, which was the record tally for a five-match ODI series until 2018.
145* by Brendan Taylor v South Africa, First ODI, Bloemfontein, 2010-11
Despite a few impressive individual performances against South Africa in the last few years, Zimbabwe have not beaten their fancied neighbours in 30 ODIs since 1999-00. One such innings came off Taylor’s blade in this first of three ODIs. After the Proteas had amassed a total of 351/6, Taylor batted throughout the Zimbabwean chase, facing 136 deliveries and hitting 12 fours to carry his team to a respectable 287/6.
145 by Andy Flower v India, Champions Trophy Group Stage, 2002-03
Flower created a new record for the highest ODI score by a Zimbabwean, but like many of his best innings, it could not prevent a win for the opposition. Douglas Hondo (4/62) had India on the mat at 87/5, before Mohammad Kaif’s 111 propelled the total to 288/6. Coming in at the fall of the first wicket, Flower battled hard during his 164-ball stay that included 12 fours. Zimbabwe’s margin of defeat was only 14 runs.
Other scores of 140 or more for Zimbabwe:
142* by Grant Flower v Bangladesh, Harare, 2000-01
142* by Andy Flower v England, Harare, 2001-02
142 by Dave Houghton v New Zealand, Hyderabad, 1987-88
141 by Sikandar Raza v Afghanistan, Bulawayo, 2014
140 by Grant Flower v Kenya, Dhaka, 1998-99