Lockie Ferguson, the debutant paceman, took 3 for 32 and Kane Williamson, the skipper, then chipped in with an unbeaten 73 to steer New Zealand to a comfortable win over Bangladesh in the first Twenty20 International on Tuesday (January 3).
Mashrafe Mortaza won the toss and opted to bat first on an excellent batting surface at McLean Park in Napier, but his side was restricted to 141 for 8 as Ferguson and fellow debutant Ben Wheeler (2 for 22) shared the spoils.
New Zealand lost its first four wickets cheaply to find itself in a spot at 62 for 4 when Williamson was joined by Colin de Grandhomme. The duo put on an unbeaten 81-run stand for the fifth wicket to muscle the team home, Williamson remaining unbeaten on a T20I best 73 off 55 deliveries and de Grandhomme smashing three fours and as many sixes in a 22-ball 41. New Zealand eventually finished on 143 for 4 in 18 overs.
Faced with a reasonably comfortable run-chase, New Zealand was rocked early by the loss of its big-hitting top order as Neil Broom, Colin Munro, Corey Anderson and Tom Bruce all fell cheaply.
Broom was out for six when Shakib Al Hasan pulled off a brilliant catch, sprinting around the boundary, taking the catch, flicking it in the air as the momentum took him over the rope, and then stepping back in to complete the catch. Munro was dismissed without scoring by Mustafizur Rahman, while Anderson fell to Shakib and Bruce was run out after a mix-up with his captain.
Mustafizur was the most economical of the Bangladesh bowlers with 1 for 21 off his four overs, but the rest went for plenty as Williamson and de Grandhomme associated themselves in the match-winning partnership.
Bangladesh’s tally owed itself to a half-century from Mahmudullah, batting at No. 6. Out of form in the preceding One-Day International series which New Zealand swept 3-0, Mahmudullah came good with a knock of 52, off 47 deliveries with three fours and three sixes. Mosaddek Hossain made 20 while New Zealand's 18 wides was the third highest contributor to the total.
Mahmudullah had walked out on a hat-trick after Ferguson took the wickets of Sabbir Rahman and Soumya Sarkar with his first two deliveries. He kept out the yorker without much difficulty but was dismissed by the same bowler in his last over.
The teams now travel to Mount Maunganui for the second T20I on January 6.