Devon Conway top-scored with a scintillating 70 not out while Michael Bracewell and Ish Sodhi took two wickets each in New Zealand’s eight-wicket win over Bangladesh in the ongoing T20I tri-series at Hagley Oval, here on Sunday.
After Bracewell (2/14), Sodhi (2/31), along with the fast bowling duo of Trent Boult (2/25) and Tim Southee (2/34) restricted Bangladesh to a lowly 137/8, Conway shared a match-winning 85-run stand with skipper Kane Williamson (30) for the second wicket to chase down the total in 17.5 overs.
Pushed into batting first, Bangladesh’s batting issues continued as their top-order batters just didn’t get going. After Southee took out Mehidy Hasan Miraz early, Sodhi and Bracewell took four wickets for 45 runs from New Zealand’s eight overs of spin bowling to leave Bangladesh at 78/5 in 13.3 overs.
Sodhi also became the fifth bowler overall and third from New Zealand to take 100 T20I wickets. Wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan’s 12-ball 25, including a four and two sixes, helped Bangladesh reach 137/8 apart from New Zealand dropping three catches and missing a run-out.
In reply, New Zealand lost Finn Allen in the fourth over. But Williamson and Conway were steady in the chase, depending on strike rotation. Conway was the more aggressive of the two, never letting go of any chances to get boundaries and make the chase a walk in the park.
Though Williamson fell on the last ball of the 15th over, Conway and Glenn Phillips (23 not out off just nine balls) ensured there were no hiccups in the chase for New Zealand. Phillips hit two fours and as many sixes, which came in a back-to-back effort and sealed the win for New Zealand.
But New Zealand will be concerned with the fitness of pacer Adam Milne, who went off the field after bowling two overs for no wickets and giving away 12 runs due to a niggle in his abdominal muscle.
The hosts have already lost the services of all-rounder Daryl Mitchell and fast bowler Lockie Ferguson due to injuries in the tri-series, with the Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia just two weeks away from starting.
Brief scores: Bangladesh 137/8 in 20 overs (Najmul Hossain Shanto 33, Afif Hossain 24; Michael Bracewell 2/14, Trent Boult 2/25) lost to New Zealand 142/2 in 17.5 overs (Devon Conway 70 not out, Kane Williamson 30; Hasan Mahmud 1/26, Shoriful Islam 1/39) by eight wickets