• Wednesday, Dec 07, 2022
  • Last Update : 09:54 am

Bangladesh top-order exposed as NZ end tour with win

  • Published at 02:24 pm September 10th, 2021
Kiwis
New Zealand players celebrate after winning the fifth T20I away to Bangladesh Friday AFP

Bangladesh concluded their T20 World Cup preparation at home with a good winning rate – seven wins in 10 games

Bangladesh's struggles with the top-order got exposed once again as they conceded a 27-run defeat to finish the five-match series against visitors New Zealand 3-2 Friday.

The wicket at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on the day was unlike to what it has been lately – a batting-friendly one – and had not been used in the previous nine games played at the venue.

New Zealand yet again opted to bat first after winning the toss and posted 161 runs – the most scored in a T20I innings at the venue in more than a year.

It was expected that the Bangladesh top-order batters, who had struggled in this condition in the previous matches – would turn the tables around.

It was an opportunity for the unit to get some runs on a pretty flat deck before going to the T20 World Cup next month.

The scenario however, remained unchanged as Bangladesh in pursuit of the target saw their first four batters put on only 46 runs inside nine overs.

Liton Das and Mohammad Naim perished on 10 and 23 respectively while Mushfiqur Rahim’s bad patch with the willow continued as the right-handed batsman got dismissed for just three runs to finish with only 39 runs in the five games, involving two ducks.

The chance was big for Soumya Sarkar batting at No 3 in place of Shakib al Hasan who got rested.

The team management decided to give Soumya some match time after benching him in the first four matches.

The left-handed batsman though failed to make an impact and got out on a nine-ball four after a cut attempt resulted in a simple catch for Rachin Ravindra at point.

Mahmudullah and Afif Hossain took charge from this point and worked on reviving the innings.

Captain Mahmudullah played anchor while his young partner Afif was the aggressor as the duo posted 63 runs in 43 deliveries for the fifth wicket.

Right-arm pacer Scott Kuggeleijn removed Mahmudullah for a 21-ball 23 to break the partnership.

Left-handed batter Afif however, held his ground while Bangladesh lost three more wickets and slowly suffocated towards defeat after failing to keep up with the required run rate.

Afif remained unbeaten on 49 off 33 deliveries, laced with two boundaries and three over boundaries.

Earlier, New Zealand captain Tom Latham’s unbeaten 50 off 37 balls, complemented with opener Finn Allen’s blistering 24-ball 41, bookended the Kiwis' best batting performance in the tour.

It started with the 58-run opening stand between Allen and Ravindra (17) and despite hiccups in the middle, the motion processed the side to a competitive total.

Mahmudullah used seven bowlers to derail New Zealand's momentum but failed to fetch enough results.

Pacers Taskin Ahmed and Shariful Islam got their first game in the series, in place of Mustafizur Rahman and Saifuddin, and ended up giving away a combined 82 runs, sharing three wickets between them.

Left-arm seamer Shariful was the most expensive, leaking 48 in his quota of four overs, in spite a double strike in his second over.

With the game, Bangladesh concluded their T20 World Cup preparation at home with a good winning rate – seven wins in 10 games, including the 4-1 win against Australia in the previous series.

But the debate still remains if it was ideal to chose to utilize home advantage by giving edge to the spin attack and not thinking of keeping the batters among the runs.

Mahmudullah finished with the most runs in the series, totalling 120 in five games, followed by Naim with 105.

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