It was a walk in the park for New Zealand as they romped to an eight-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the first of the three-match ODI series at University Oval in Dunedin today. With this convincing victory, New Zealand extended their winning streak to 27 international matches on their home soil against the Tigers.
Henry Nicholls’ unbeaten 49, Martin Guptill’s quick-fire 38 and debutant Devon Conway’s 27 were enough to see the hosts take only 21.2 overs to go past the 132-run target set by Bangladesh earlier after being sent to bat.
Chasing a meagre total, Guptill instigated a flying start for the Kiwis, smashing a four and then a six off Mustafizur Rahman in the final two deliveries of the very first over. He dispatched young pacer Hasan Mahmud for two boundaries in the next over before hitting the bowler for two more maximums in the fourth over.
Guptill smashed a total of three fours and four maximums during his 19-ball stay at the crease, helping New Zealand race past fifty in just five overs. And had pacer Taskin Ahmed not removed the dangerous-looking Guptill in his first over after being introduced in the sixth over of the game, the hosts could well have cruised to victory sooner.
Taskin remained the most impressive pacer for Bangladesh as the right-armer produced a few threatening deliveries that beat the outside edge of Kiwi batsmen at times. He finished with figures of 1 for 23 in his four overs. Debutant off-spinning all-rounder Mahedi Hasan remained the most economical of all, giving away just 17 runs in his six overs.
Earlier, the Tigers’ batting line-up collapsed miserably, failing to put up any resistance against a formidable Kiwi pace attack. The pace attack led by the world number one ODI bowler Trent Boult made use of the overcast conditions perfectly to their advantage right from the word go as they startled the Bangladesh batsmen constantly with pace and bounce that the pitch had on offer.
Boult struck twice in the fifth over, removing both Bangladesh skipper Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar. It was a grim day for Tamim on his 32nd birthday as the southpaw walked off the pitch after a 15-ball 13, featuring a four and a six. Soumya, who was given a new role and was made to bat at number seven in Tigers’ previous ODI series against West Indies in January earlier this year, was reinstated in the top order for this match.
Soumya (0 of three) batted at number three, replacing Najmul Hossain Shanto who was dropped from the side following a string of poor performances in the last ODI series against the West Indies at home. Meanwhile, a lack of application from the likes of Liton Das (19 off 36), Mushfiqur Rahim (23 off 49), Mahmudullah Riyad (27 off 54) saw them fail to convert their starts to anything meaningful.
For New Zealand, Boult wrapped it up with another double strike at the death. He removed Hasan Mahmud and Taskin in the 42nd over to finish with impressive figures of 4 for 27 in 8.5 overs. The pacer was awarded the player-of-the-match for his efforts.