New Zealand

New Zealand beat Bangladesh by 2 wkts

MNA Sports Desk: New Zealand held their nerve under the floodlights to beat Bangladesh by two wickets at The Oval on Wednesday.

Chasing a modest target of 245, Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson shared a third-wicket partnership of 105 to put the Black Caps on course for a comfortable victory, but they lost six more wickets before notching up their second win of the tournament with 17 balls to spare.

Set 245 to win, New Zealand was cruising at 218-5 in the 43rd over, but the loss in consecutive overs of allrounders Colin de Grandhomme and Jimmy Neesham left tailenders Mitchell Santner and Matt Henry at the crease, both on 0.

With the pro-Bangladeshi crowd whipped up by their team suddenly back in contention, any hint of a dismissal was wildly cheered.

Santner and Henry got off the mark with singles and combined for 20 runs in less than three overs. Then Henry was bowled for 6 with New Zealand needing seven to win and two wickets left.

Santner and Lockie Ferguson held their nerve, and the end came in a rush thanks to two wides, a Ferguson tickle to the third man boundary, and a Santner boundary through the covers to complete the victory with 17 balls to spare.

UNB adds: Bangladeshis packed the Oval in hope of a double celebration beside Eid al-Fitr, the holiday marking the end of Ramadan, but they had little to cheer in the first half of the match.

Bangladesh was bowled out for 244 inside 50 overs, put in on a fresh pitch which was slower than expected.

The top five batsmen all made starts but invariably got themselves out under pressure to escape New Zealand’s grip.

Shakib Al Hasan, the third Bangladeshi to play 200 ODIs, top scored with 64. He was the only batsman to make more than 30.

The New Zealand battery, backed up by smart fielding, was disciplined and Henry led with 4-47.

Halfway through its innings, New Zealand was cruising in its chase of 245 at 138-2 against Bangladesh, after a dramatic start at the Oval.

Shakib Al Hasan removed openers Martin Guptill (25) and Colin Munro (24), and should have had captain Kane Williamson run out on 8 while he was bowling.

Williamson was short of the crease by more than a foot when the bails were taken out, but video showed wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim knocked off the bails with his right arm before he caught the ball.

Then Ross Taylor, while on 10, survived being run out by an inch. He was fortunate the throw to Mushfiqur was too high.
Taylor and Williamson got their communication sorted out, settled down, and used their reprieves to reach their 26th partnership of 50-plus in ODIs.

After 25 overs, Taylor, the aggressor, was on 53 and Williamson on 35.

Bangladesh was all out for 244 after New Zealand won the toss and put the squeeze on at the Oval in their day-night match.

The top five batsmen all made starts but invariably got themselves out under pressure to escape New Zealand’s grip.
Shakib Al Hasan, the third Bangladeshi to play 200 ODIs, top scored with 64. He was the only batsman to score more than 30.

The New Zealand battery, backed up by smart fielding, took advantage of a fresh pitch, overcast skies, and disciplined bowling to set a gettable target.

Matt Henry returned 4-47 and Trent Boult snared a pair of wickets, while Lockie Ferguson, Colin de Grandhomme, and Mitchell Santner took one each.

Santner, the slow left-armer, was unhittable through the middle overs, not conceding a boundary until his ninth over, and the only six of the match in his 10th. But his performance will also have heartened the Bangladesh spinners.

New Zealand has a 4-0 win record against Bangladesh at the World Cup, batting second each time.

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