• Tuesday, Nov 29, 2022
  • Last Update : 09:24 am

Bangladesh eye another dominant display against Kiwis

  • Published at 02:54 pm September 2nd, 2021
Bangladesh players celebrate the fall of a New Zealand wicket during the first T20I in Mirpur Wednesday AFP

For the inexperienced New Zealand team, the first game has been a premonition as to what they are likely to expect in the remainder of the series

High-flying Bangladesh will look to maintain their dominance over visitors New Zealand when they meet in the second match of the five-T20I series at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium Friday.

Bangladesh started the series from where they had left off in the last series against Australia.

In the first game, the home team first restricted New Zealand to their joint low total, 60 runs, and then chased down the target in 15 overs with seven wickets to spare.

The victory was Bangladesh's first in the shortest format of the game against the Kiwis.

The slow and low surface in Mirpur as expected played into Bangladesh's hands.

The host spinners ran havoc in the opposition line-up, and were complemented by the two pacers Mustafizur Rahman and Saifuddin as the duo shared five wickets.

Off-spinner Mahedi Hasan got Bangladesh the start they needed, while Shakib al Hasan and Nasum Ahmed later feasted upon the opponent.

The spinning trio together bagged the other five wickets.

The question however, still remains with regards to the pitch condition.

The five matches against Australia and as many games against New Zealand are meant to be the platform for the teams to prepare for the T20 World Cup next month.

The matches were expected to take place on true wickets – as will be the case in Oman and then in the United Arab Emirates during the two rounds of the world event.

But Bangladesh took the option of winning against better-ranked opponents playing on muddy surfaces to give edge to their spin attack.

One can understand for going with the strategy against Australia – a win against them is rare.

But having the same approach against an under-strength New Zealand team remains unexplained.

This team of New Zealand doesn’t involve any of their leading cricketers who will instead play in the T20 World Cup.

The "slow, low and turning deck" strategy is doing the job for Bangladesh but it has put its batsmen under a test, which could possibly dent the confidence heading to the world event, scheduled to take place in October-November.

In the six matches – five against Australia and one versus New Zealand – only Mahmudullah has been notable with the bat for Bangladesh for his 53-ball 52 in the third game against the Aussies.

There have been contributions from others that added to the wins but one cannot rule out the struggles.

Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo brushed off concerns of being worried with the misfiring openers.

The former South African cricketer had shielded his statement with the record partnership that openers Mohammad Naim and Soumya Sarkar had pulled off in Zimbabwe, but that was six games ago.   

In the first match against New Zealand Wednesday, Liton Das got back to the XI having missed out on the previous series.

But the scenario remained the same as he and Naim perished scoring one each, and find Shakib, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah take charge and bat for the rest of the match to victory.

For the inexperienced New Zealand team, the first game has been a premonition as to what they are likely to expect in the remainder of the series.

They have hit a new low with the bat, but would surely take inspiration from how their spinners Rachin Ravindra, Cole McConchie and Ajaz Patel troubled Bangladesh when they went to defend the small total.

The trio took a wicket each giving away 37 runs in 12 overs combined.

As far as the squad is concerned, it now has top-order batsman Finn Allen back.

The right-handed batsman returned two negative Covid-19 tests Wednesday and Thursday.

Allen was forced to isolate after testing Covid-19 positive upon arrival in Dhaka last month.

Bangladesh (probable):

Mohammad Naim, Liton Das, Shakib al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah (capt), Nurul Hasan (wk), Afif Hossain, Mahedi Hasan, Saifuddin, Mustafizur Rahman, Nasum Ahmed

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