New Zealand maintains all-win record
Mustafizur Rahman’s five-for goes in vain as Kane Williamson’s men shoot Bangladesh out for just 70 for a 75-run victory
26 March 2016 18:54
Having booked its semi-final berth following the 22-run win over Pakistan earlier in the week, New Zealand arrived at Eden Gardens in Kolkata without the pressure of qualification on its mind. But, as Martin Guptill had predicted the day before, New Zealand, which rested the star opener and brought in Henry Nicholls instead, put on yet another clinical show.
Opting to bat, New Zealand looked in trouble against Bangladesh’s shrewd bowling unit, led by Mustafizur, on a slow pitch. They struck 11 boundaries and six sixes in the entire innings to reach 145 for 8 in 20 overs. It seemed like Bangladesh had done enough to record a first win, but it crumbled against an even stronger bowling department to go down for a measly 70 from 15.4 overs to suffer a humiliating 75-run loss.
This performance would come as a blow to Bangladesh, which punched above its weight to make it to the Asia Cup final before going down to India, and arrived at this tournament with the expectations of a cricket-crazy nation behind it. But, while it lost four on the trot, it came awfully close to finishing with a win or two.
In fact, even on Saturday (March 26), at one stage Bangaldesh was in control. Mashrafe Mortaza, the skipper, rotated his paceman to perfection and cut off New Zealand’s run-scoring options. Just when Williamson began to threaten with his 32-ball 42, Mustafizur got into the act by bowling him around the legs. And that’s when the Mustafizur magic began to cast New Zealand in its spell.
Colin Munro (35) and Ross Taylor (28) were fortunate not to get out to the left-armer, but the five who did were undone by that famous off-cutter.
Mustafizur was on a roll and he had the chance to bag his sixth wicket and finish with a hat-trick off the last delivery of New Zealand’s innings, but Mitchell McClenaghan ended that hope with a massive six in the direction of long-on.
In pursuit, Bangladesh got off to a decent start despite losing Tamim Iqbal early as Mohammad Mithun and Sabbir Rahman looked in good nick. That partnership only lasted so long. In fact, that was the only time in the game Bangladesh looked like it was in pursuit.
Once Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi and Grant Elliott got going, Bangladesh stared in bewilderment as the slow bowlers showcased their expertise and left it broke.
Santner finished with 1 for 16 from three, while Elliott and Sodhi bagged three each to do even more to establish themselves in the side should the pitches going forward remain more or less the same.
Click here to view the full scorecard.