A fine spell of spin bowling from Ajaz Patel (4/16) and Cole McConchie (3/15) helped New Zealand register a 52-run victory over Bangladesh in the third T20 International at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, giving the tourists a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.
Chasing 129, the hosts got off to a quick start with Liton Das smashing five fours in 2.3 overs, but their innings was jolted when McConchie removed Liton. Before Bangladesh could recover, Ajaz Patel struck in the next over with two big wickets.
The first to depart was Mahedi Hasan, who looked to flick but ended up edging it to Henry Nicholls at mid-wicket. He was followed by Shakib Al Hasan, who went for a duck. Rachin Ravindra got in on the act two overs later with the wicket of Mohammad Naim, who dragged a thick inside edge off his bat onto his stumps.
Bangladesh were pegged back further with another Patel double-wicket over. Removing Mahmudullah (3) and Afif Hossain (0) in back-to-back deliveries, Patel reduced Bangladesh to 44/6 in 10 overs, requiring 85 more to win.
Although Mushfiqur Rahim tried to steady the innings and revive Bangladesh, they suffered further when McConchie picked up two more wickets in back-to-back overs, removing Nurul Hasan (8) and Saifuddin (8).
In the end, Bangladesh were bowled out for 76 in the 20th over giving New Zealand a big 52-run victory.
Earlier, after being asked to bat first, New Zealand posted 128 for 5.
Their start was positive with Will Young hitting two fours off Mahedi Hasan in the first over. However, Mustafizur Rahman was brought into the attack in the third over and promptly dismissed Young’s partner Finn Allen for 15, who failed to read a slow off-cutter and ended up chipping it to mid-on.
Young hit three more fours signifying his intent but a double-wicket over by Saifuddin again put the brakes on New Zealand’s scoring rate. Saifuddin first removed the dangerous-looking Young, trapping him in front of middle and off for 20. Two balls later, he removed Colin de Grandhomme lbw. The Blackcaps lost two more wickets for just 16 runs — Rachin Ravindra (20) was bowled by Mahmudullah, while Tom Latham (5) was caught and bowled by Mahedi Hasan.
At 62/5 with nine more overs to go, New Zealand took their time to settle. The Bangladesh bowlers were able to choke the scoring rate but failed to create any breakthroughs. Henry Nicholls and Tom Blundell managed to hold on and kept the scoreboard ticking. Their unbeaten 66-run partnership helped New Zealand post 128/5.
Brief scores: New Zealand 128/5 in 20 overs (H Nicholls 36 not out, T Blundell 30 not out) beat Bangladesh 76 in 19.4 overs (A Patel 4/16, C McConchie 3/15) by 52 runs.