Kolkata, March 26 (IANS) New Zealand put on an impressive show with the ball to skittle out Bangladesh for 70 in 15.4 overs to notch a 75-run win in a floodlight malfunction-interrupted World Twenty20 Group 2 encounter at the Eden Gardens here on Saturday.
The ‘Black Caps’ go into the semi-finals unbeaten, having won all four matches in the group stage. Grant Elliot and leg-spinner Ish Sodhi picked up three wickets each for New Zealand.
This is Bangladesh’s lowest score in Twenty20 Internationals. Chasing New Zealand’s 145/8, Bangladesh were jolted early as in-form opener Tamim Iqbal was sent back with Colin Munro effecting a brilliant run-out. After three overs the ‘Tigers’ only collected seven runs.
With the innings going nowhere, the Bangladesh willowers chose to attack Mitchell Santner, gathering 14 runs in the fifth over. But soon Mitchell McClenaghan was able to sneak through and disturb Mohammad Mithun’s timber.
With six overs gone, Bangladesh were struggling at 31/2.
Santner made up for his 14-run over by getting rid of Bangladesh poster boy Shakib Al Hasan (2), who was out caught at long-on.
Thereafter, the batters fell like a pack of cards and the viewers were reminded of a 2010 game in Hamilton where Bangladesh were bowled out for 78 – their previous lowest T20I total.
Sabbir Rahman (12), Soumya Sarkar (6), Mushfiqur Rahim (0), Mahmudullah (5) and captain Mashrafe Mortaza (3) went back to the pavilion in the blink of an eye with Bangladesh in disarray at 59/8. After a brief stoppage of play because of a floodlight malfunction, the Bangladesh innings folded.
Earlier, Bangladesh bowlers, led by left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman, kept New Zealand on a tight leash and restricted them to a modest total on a slow Eden strip.
Mustafizur returned with brilliant figures of 5/22 for his side as Kane Williamson top-scored for New Zealand with a 32-ball 42. Colin Munro (35) and Ross Taylor (28) were the other major contributors.
The Kiwi openers, skipper Williamson and Henry Nicholls, gave their side a brisk start. But with 25 runs on the board, Nicholls fell as Mustafizur cleaned him up with an incoming delivery. In the next over, Williamson struck Shakib for a boundary and a six and at the end of the powerplay, the Black Caps were at 39/1.
There were a few quiet overs thereafter as the Bangladesh bowlers crawled back into the game. Williamson tried to boost the run-rate with a cheeky scoop against Mustafizur but the pacer’s slower delivery crashed into his stumps.
In the 13th over, New Zealand were finally able to break the shackles as they were gifted four byes. Munro, who was keen on rotating the strike, clubbed Mahmudullah for another boundary on the first ball off the next over and then followed it up with two big sixes.
However, Amin Hossain was able to castle Munro as he went for another big heave. Then Mortaza struck by bowling all-rounder Corey Anderson for a duck.
Wickets at regular intervals pegged the Black Caps back as they managed to get only 145 on the scoreboard.
Brief scores: New Zealand 145/8 in 20 overs (Kane Williamson 42; Mustafizur Rahman 5/22) beat Bangladesh 70 all out in 15.4 overs (Shuvagata Hom 16 not out; Grant Elliot 3/12).