World T20 – New Zealand make it four wins in a row after thrashing Bangladesh

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©ICC Media

World T20 – New Zealand make it four wins in a row after thrashing Bangladesh

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Amlan Majumdar


New Zealand continued their winning streak with a 75-run win over Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens on Saturday. Chasing a target of 146, the Bangladeshi batting lineup fell apart like a house of cards and were eventually dismissed for 70 runs, as Grant Elliot and Ish Sodhi took three wickets each.

Brief Scores: New Zealand 145/8 in 20 overs (Kane Williamson 42(32), Colin Munro 35(33); Mustafizur Rahman 5/22, Al-Amin Hossain 2/27); Bangladesh 70 all out in 15.4 overs (Shuvagata Hom 16*(17), Sabbir Rahman 12(18); Grant Elliot 3/12, Ish Sodhi 3/21)

Defending a moderate total of 145, New Zealand opted to hand the new ball over to Nathan McCullum. He and Corey Anderson conceded just two runs in the opening 11 balls of the Bangladeshi innings, and this indirectly lead to a wicket in the last ball of the second over. A mix-up between Tamim Iqbal and Mohammad Mithun, allowed Munro the opportunity to manufacture a run out, and he did so with a brilliant throw from short third man.

Sabbir Rahman and Mohammad Mithun took a cautious approach after the first wicket and the duo managed a 25-run partnership for the second wicket - and the fact that this was the biggest partnership in the Bangladeshi innings, told a story of its own. However, Shakib and co. found it hard to deal with the New Zealand spinners and lost wickets at regular wickets. 

From 29/1 in 5.3 overs, Bangladesh went to 48/7 in 12. Sodhi and Elliot spun a web on the Eden Gardens wicket and eventually, they were dismissed for 70 in the 16th over. With this win, New Zealand have secured their place at the top of the group and will now move to the semis high on confidence. Bangladesh, on the other hand, will have to go back to their drawing board, and find a replacement for the two key players they have lost.

Kane Williamson won his fourth toss in a row - a drastic change in the fortunes which the Black Caps encountered under Brendon McCullum – and opted to bat first on a surface which was expected to assist the spinners. New Zealand made two changes to their lineup with Nathan McCullum replacing Adam Milne and Henry Nicholls coming in for Martin Guptill, who was rested for this game.

Bangladesh, who came into the game on the back of a heartbreaking defeat against India in their last match, went in with an unchanged lineup.

Kane Williamson got off to a quick start, as he took over the aggressive mantle in Guptill's absence. In the last two deliveries of the first over, Williamson hit Mashrafe Mortaza for two delightful boundaries through the cover, and there was nothing much the bowler could do, other than to appreciate it.

Shakib Al Hasan replaced Mortaza with Mustafizur in the third over, and the change immediately brought rewards for Bangladesh. A slow off-cutter from the bowler went through the gap between the bat and the pad of Nicholls and dismantled his stumps. However, the wicket did not slow down Williamson, who took on Shakib in the next over, hitting him for a boundary and a six in the fifth over.

Bangladesh did pull things back after the powerplay ended as New Zealand struggled to find the boundaries. By the end of the eighth over, their run rate was down to 6.5 and eventually the pressure got to Williamson. Mustafizur knocked out his stumps with another slow cutter, as the Kiwi skipper went across his stumps to the offside and missed the delivery completely.

At the end of the ninth over, New Zealand were 57/2 and in desperate need of some momentum. Colin Munro, who was promoted up the order, provided some hefty blows, before he was dismissed for 35, by Al-Amin Hossain in the 15th over.

The Black Caps kept loosing wickets at regular intervals towards the end of the innings, as Mustafizur cleaned up the lower-middle order and the tail-enders. However, with the help of Ross Taylor's knock of 28 runs, New Zealand did reach a respectable target of 145 runs, in their 20 overs.

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