Sports Correspondent: Bangladesh beat New Zealand by five wickets in a low-scoring fourth T20I and took the five-match series 2-1. This was Bangladesh’s first series win against New Zealand in the shortest format.
Bangladesh registered their ninth win in T20Is this year, the most by any team. This was also the first time Bangladesh won three T20I series on the trot.
With the series win, Bangladesh moved up to number six in the ICC T20I rankings. Four-fors from Nasum Ahmed and Mustafizur Rahman followed by a captain’s knock from Mahmudullah helped the home side create history.
Earlier, New Zealand captain Tom Latham won the toss for the third time in the series and elected to bat first. Bangladesh’s start with the ball couldn’t have beenbetter as left-arm spinner Nasum Ahmed bowled a wicket maiden. Rachin Ravindra’s dismal run with the bat continued as he was out for nought.
Finn Allen, like the previous match, started off in an aggressive manner. He struck a six off Shakib Al Hasan in the second over. The right-hander attempted reverse-sweeps twice in the next over bowled by Nasum. The first one fetched him a brace but the second one wasn’t well-struck and it went to the point fielder’s hand. Allen scored 12 off eight.
Mahmudullah had spinners bowl five out of six overs in the powerplay and the hosts restricted New Zealand to 22 for two at the end of the sixth over.
Tom Latham and Will Young tried to steady the ship and just when things started to look a bit better for the Black Caps, Mahedi Hasan provided the all-important breakthrough. Latham was beaten for turn and stumped by Nurul Hasan. New Zealand were 51 for three in the 11th over. Latham was dismissed for 21.
One brought two and two brought three for Bangladesh. Nasum Ahmed sent back Henry Nicholls and Colin de Grandhomme in consecutive deliveries in the 12th over. Nicholls scored one and de Grandhomme perished without scoring. Nasum finished with four for 10 off his four overs. He became the second Bangladeshi bowler to bowl two maidens in a T20I match.
Mustafizur Rahman picked up two wickets in the 16th over, the second one being a one-handed caught and bowled dismissal. The visitors were 74 for seven after 16 overs.
Will Young occupied one end for a long time and finally was sent back by Mustafizur in the 20th over. Young top-scored for the Black Caps with 46 off 48 with the help of five fours and a six.
Mustafizur got his fourth in the next delivery, getting Blair Tickner out. New Zealand were bowled out for 93.
In reply, Bangladesh weren’t off to the best of starts as they lost Liton Das in the third over. Liton hit a boundary off Cole McConchie in the first ball of the over. The right-hander tried to repeat it but couldn’t middle the ball. Finn Allen took a stunning catch diving forward.
Shakib Al Hasan’s torrid time with the bat continued as he misjudged a full ball from Ajaz Patel and ended up being stumped. He scored eight off eight. Bangladesh were 32 for two then in the sixth over.
Mushfiqur Rahim was cleaned up three balls later by Patel. This was the second time Mushfiqur got out for a duck in this series.
Mohammad Naim and Mahmudullah put on 35 for the fourth wicket before the former ran himself out. The southpaw made 29 off 35. When Naim got out, Bangladesh needed 27 off 33 balls to win.
Things could’ve been more interesting had Latham not missed a golden opportunity of stumping Mahmudullah in the 17th over off Ajaz Patel. Patel carried his good form with the ball and finished with two for nine in his four overs.
Bangladesh needed 11 off the last two overs and Mahmudullah smashed a six over wide long-on in the first ball of the penultimate over to take Bangladesh closer to victory. Bangladesh eventually reached the target with five balls to spare and five wickets in hand. Mahmudullah was undefeated on 43 off 48 balls. His innings involved one four and two sixes.
Nasum Ahmed was adjudged player of the match for his career-best bowling performance.
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