Bangladesh failed to end the T20I series on a high as they were beaten by 27 runs in the final of five-match series at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Friday. However, Bangladesh still won by 3-2 margin in a strongly contested series.
It was a comprehensive victory for New Zealand in what was the best batting strip of the series. Should the hosts be worried about their tame loss in good batting conditions? They definitely should. Yes, they were resting a few stars, especially Shakib al Hasan and Mustafizur Rahman, but this was still a T20 World Cup bound squad and their lacklustre chase could is a cause of concern. Tigers have to enhance their batting immensely if they want to put on a good show in the upcoming World Cup.
Defending 161, the Black Caps completely outplayed the Tigers, except for a period of four overs between 12th and 15th, in which Afif Hossain and Mahmudullah showed some resistance in a 63-run stand but after Mahmudullah’s departure it was all doom and gloom. A poor start with the bat and consolidated with a poor finish gave the hosts no chance of chasing down 162. Afif Hossain remained unbeaten on a 33-ball 49, which was Bangladesh’s only silver lining. Soumya Sarkar and Mushfiqur continued to struggle and the rest just couldn’t get going. Tigers’ innings ended at 134/8.
Earlier, after winning the toss New Zealand opted to bat first and put up a strong total of 161/5. Kiwis made a stormy start as the openers Finn Allen and Rachin Ravindra put on 58 runs in the opening stand. They reached the 50-run mark within 31 balls. However, young pacer Shoriful made an important comeback by removing Ravindra and Allen in the same over.
Rachin (17) was caught at mid-off by Mushfiqur Rahim, while Allen’s stumps were rattled on the sixth delivery in Shoriful's over. Allen played a blistering 24-ball 41 run innings as he smashed 4 boundaries and three maximums before being bowled.
Then, Will Young (6) fell prey to Afif Hossian. Shamim Hossain took a stunning catch of de Grandhomme (9) at the long-off, who was dismissed by left-arm Nasum Ahmed.
New Zealand skipper Tom Latham and Henry Nicholls put on some resistance by adding 35 runs for the fifth-wicket stand. The duo were shaping the innings when pacer Taskin Ahmed struck to break the stand, dismissing Nicholls on 20 in the 16th over. Latham was unbeaten at 37-ball 50 with 2 boundaries and 2 maximums. For Bangladesh Shoriful scalped 2 wickets but he was very expensive as he gave away 48 runs in his 4 allotted overs.