A pulsating match, with a generous helping of drama ladled on at the end, saw New Zealand emerge eventual victors by two wickets over Bangladesh in their World Cup encounter at The Oval on Wednesday.
Bangladesh underperformed with the bat and were bowled out for 244 in 49.2 overs after being asked to bat first. The game seemed to be headed for a tame conclusion when Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson with a 105-run third-wicket stand had taken them to 160 for two in the 32nd over.
Mehedi Hasan Miraz then had a double-wicket over, claiming skipper Williamson and Jimmy Neesham, and then New Zealand needlessly panicked after Ross Taylor tickled one down leg side off Mosaddek Hossain to leave the score on 191 for five.
Wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim, who school boyishly fumbled a possible run out of Williamson when the third-wicket partnership was just six runs old, then took a fine, leaping catch to send back Colin de Grandhomme off the bowling of Mohammad Saifuddin in the 43rd over.
In the next over, Jimmy Neesham needlessly holed out to long off to leave the Kiwis on a shaky 218 for seven. Saifuddin then bowled Matt Henry off a full toss in the 47th over but the Kiwis, just seven runs adrift then, managed to scrape across the line with 17 balls to spare.
There were many starts from Bangladesh’s top six, but no one apart from Shakib Al Hasan scored a fifty. Shakib’s 68-ball 64 had raised hopes of a total nearer to 300, but just when he had the Kiwi bowling by the scruff of the neck, he departed trying to cut medium pacer Colin de Grandhomme in the 31st over and being caught behind. In leaving after having done the hard work, he was sticking to a pattern seen throughout the innings, an old failing that Bangladesh had managed to avoid over the last month and in their first match against South Africa, which the Tigers won by 21 runs on Sunday.
Shakib was the only batsman who proved capable of coping with New Zealand’s discipline and excellence on the field, as he kept accelerating through well-placed singles and the odd boundary, bringing up his 44th ODI half-century off just 54 balls.
Bangladesh managed only 244 against New Zealand in their second World Cup match after the Kiwis won the toss and elected to bowl first at the Kennigton Oval.
It was a bright start for Bangladesh when Soumya Sarkar and Tamim Iqbal started with authority. Soumya raced to a run-a-ball 25 before he was removed by Matt Henry. Tamim fell soon after, not being able to get in complete control of his pull shot.
Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim consolidated but the latter fell after a misunderstanding while running between the wickets. That turned the match in New Zealand’s favour and even as Shakib Al Hasan grabbed control with a fluent 65, after he departed, Bangladesh innings lost momentum. Some lusty hits from Saifuddin at the end allowed them to reach upto 244.
It was really an enthralling encounter from both the sides. Bangladesh were 20/30 runs short. Now blackcaps are the table topper while Bangladesh is hoping to bounce back for upcoming clash against the host England.
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