New Zealand vs Bangladesh 2019: Kiwis start ODI series with easy 8-wicket win
After being outplayed by India in the ODIs, the series against Bangladesh is the last bilateral assignment for New Zealand before the all-important World Cup 2019 in England. And they will be happy about the way they have started in the series, registering a comprehensive victory by 8 wickets to go 1-0 up.
Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza won the toss and decided to bat first. The decision, however, didn't prove to be right as Trent Boult and Matt Henry bowled fierce spells to send back four Bangladeshi batsmen to the pavilion in the first 9 overs.
Three out of the top four batsmen were unable to even reach double digits.
Tamim Iqbal was first to go when he got caught behind the stumps for 5. Liton Das followed his opening partner soon when he was bowled by Henry. In his 4th over, Boult got rid of Bangladesh's most reliable batsman Mushfiqur Rahim, knocking off his stumps. And Soumya Sarkar, who was looking in good touch, needlessly top-edged Henry in the next over to take the visitors 4 down for 42.
Wickets kept falling at regular intervals and Bangladesh were soon 131 for 7 after 29 overs. At this point of time, Mohammad Mithun and Saifuddin came to Bangladesh's rescue and added a record 84 runs for the eighth wicket.
Mithun was the top scorer for the team with 62 off 90 balls, featuring five fours, while Saifuddin scored 41 off 58 balls with three fours. Both got out trying to increase the scoring rate in the slog overs, but only after taking Bangladesh towards a decent score.
Bangladesh were bowled out for 232 in 48.5 overs.
With a target of 233 to chase, Kiwi openers Martin Guptill and Henry Nicholls started rather cautiously as they hit just three fours and a six in the first Powerplay to put up 42 on the board. They then took calculated risks once they were set, and both got to their respective half-centuries.
Nicholls fell shortly after his fifty in the 23rd over, with the team score on 103. Captain Kane Williamson never got into his rhythm and was given lbw to Mahmudullah for 11 after Bangladesh reviewed the on-field not out call.
At the other end, Guptill kept scoring runs at a brisk pace as he sprinted towards the three-figure mark. He got to his 15th ODI century in the 41st over with a single off Sabbir.
Ross Taylor, who came in after Williamson's wicket, provided good support to Guptill. The two added an unbroken 96 runs for the third wicket which saw their team home.
New Zealand finished the 233 chase with 33 balls to spare.