May 19, 2022, 11:55 pm
Sports Desk: Bangladesh registered a comprehensive seven-wicket win over New Zealand, showing a clinical performance in the five-match Twenty20 series opening at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium today.
The Tigers first victory against the Kiwis in 11th attempt in this format came with added bonanza as they shot the visitors out for their joint lowest 60 in 16.5 overs. The hosts though then faced a hiccup but eventually cruised to victory with ease, making 62-3 in just 15 overs.
New Zealand were also bowled out for 60 against Sri Lanka in Chattogram, Bangladesh during the 2014 T20 World Cup.
Bangladesh now have the pleasure of bowling out two teams–New Zealand and their neighbouring country Australia– to their lowest T20 total within one month. Last month Australia were bowled out for 62 in the fifth and final match to concede the series by 4-1.
Once again Bangladesh spinners and fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman played a key role in slow and low surfaces with the latter finishing on 3-13.
Left-arm spinners Shakib Al Hasan, Nasum Ahmed and pacer Saifuddin claimed two wickets apiece while offspinner Mahedi Hasan took one.
New Zealand’s batsmen’s strategy was questionable on a surface where balls were not coming to bat easily.
Nasum Ahmed removed debutant Rachin Ravindra with a return catch in the third ball of the innings to kick things off after Tom Latham opted to bat first. Ranvindra in fact was baffled by the slowness of the wicket as he expected the ball to come on to his bat.
Shakib then joined him to slice the top order and reduced Kiwis to 9 for 4 in just the fourth over.
Latham and Henry Nicholls shared 34-run for the fifth wicket and appeared set to stabilize the innings.
But both of them perished to a big shot against pacer Saifuddin after scoring identical 18 runs.
However, they were the only two batsmen to reach the double digit figure.
Mustafizur Rahman cleaned up the tail to deny the visitor’s hope to get the score past 100.
Offspinner Cole McConchie, one of the two debutants of New Zealand team and left-arm spinner Azaz Patel gave the side a glimmer of hope with small total, removing the openers Mohammad Naim and Liton Das in quick succession as Bangladesh were reduced to 7-2.
But experienced Shakib Al Hasan kept the side’s nose ahead with a small but valuable 25 off 33 before Rachin Ravidra accounted him for his debut wicket.
Mushfiqur Rahim, who returned to the squad after missing Australia series and skipper Mahmudullah then drove the side to the victory with the former disdainfully hitting McConchie for a mid-wicket boundary. Mushfiqur was on 16 with Mahmudullah on 14 at the time when Bangladesh completed the inevitable.
The second match is on Friday.