Bangladesh clinched their first-ever T20 series against New Zealand after beating them 3-2 at home in Dhaka. Bangladesh had recently registered an emphatic 4-1 series victory over Australia and were keen to continue the red-hot streak against the Men in Black.
Each of the 5 matches were played at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka. The pitch was extremely spin-friendly, with grip for the slow bowlers. Captain Mahmudullah utilized his spin resources to their full potential.
In the absence of regular players like Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill, Devon Conway and Glenn Phillips, the onus was on Tom Latham to both captain the side and shore up the batting unit.
The first match was played on the 1st of September and it proved to be a horror show for the visitors. New Zealand scored their lowest ever T20I total and were all out for a mere 60 runs. The hosts chased down the target comfortably and won the match by 7 wickets.
The next match was 2 played days later and it was another low-scoring affair with bowlers on top.The hosts only managed to score 141 in the first innings but were able to restrict the Black Caps to 137 and won the game by 4 runs.
The third game was again a low-scoring one where New Zealand just managed to score 128 runs, but bowled out the hosts for only 76.
Bangladesh clinched the series in the next match by beating their opponents by 6 wickets.
Finn Allen and the bowlers from New Zealand powered them to a consolation win in the 5th and the final T20I at Dhaka.
Bangladesh will now focus on their next task in hand, which is the T20 World Cup 2021 Qualifiera where they will clash against Scotland, Oman and Papua New Guinea to secure their position in the Super 12.
Meanwhile, the Black Caps will head to Pakistan for their white-ball series against them which is to begin from 17th of September.
On that note, let us look at the top 5 performers from the Bangladesh vs New Zealand T20I series.
#5. Cole McConchie (New Zealand)
The only debutant on this list is Cole McConchie, a right-arm off-break bowling all-rounder. From making his first-class debut as a 20-year -old for Canterbury to captaining his side, McConchie's journey has been a fairy tale.
The Christchurch-born all-rounder wasn't able to aid his side with his bat in the series, but made full use of the spinning conditions in Bangladesh. He troubled the Bangladeshis on multiple occasions, especially during the 3rd T20I where he took 3 wickets while giving away just 15 runs in his quota of 4 overs.
The 29-year-old took 7 wickets from a total of 18 overs that he bowled in the series. His 7 wickets in the series came with an impressive average of 16 runs per wicket.
New Zealand is well known for their bits and pieces players, and they have found another one in Cole McConchie.
#4. Mahmudullah (Bangladesh)
The Bangladeshi captain showcased his maturity on the field with his captaincy as well as his batting. On a pitch where it was extremely difficult for the batters to score runs, Mahmudullah impressed with his average of 60 runs per game.
The skipper remained not-out on 3 occasions throughout the series, and unsurprisingly, his team won all three games.
The 35-year-old was his side's highest run-scorer with 120 runs in 5 innings. Mahmudullah also acted as a 6th bowling option for his side and managed to get a wicket in the third T20I.