New Zealand kept their winning record intact as they defeated Bangladesh by 75 runs in their final Super 10 Group 2 match at the Eden Gardens on Saturday.
Allrounder Grant Elliott took three wickets for just 12 runs in his four overs, while Ish Sodhi also chipped in with three for 21 as the Kiwis bundled out Bangladesh for 70 runs in 15.4 overs. The Black Caps, who had already qualified for the semi-finals, had earlier made 145 for eight.
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson was adjudged the Player of the Match for his 42 off 32 balls.
New Zealand outplayed Bangladesh in every department of the game. Bangladesh found it too difficult to get going on this track. Chasing a target of 146-run, Bangladesh lost their openers – Tamim Iqbal and Mohammad Mithun – for 30 runs within the Powerplay overs of their innings. They lost Tamim for just 3 runs while Mithun contributed 11.
New Zealand bowlers further tightened the noose as they did not give any room for the Bangladesh batsmen to score. Barring Mithun (11), Sabbir Rahman (12) and Shuvagata Hom (16) none of the Bangladesh batsmen could reach double digit. The wickets were falling like pack of cards.
In the twelfth over, Bangladesh were 45 for 6 when the match was stopped due to non-functioning of the floodlights. The High Court end towers went off, bringing back the memories of India-Sri Lanka ODI match way back on December 24, 2009. With bad light the players left the field as it took about 15 minutes to restore the proceedings.
From 43 for 5 in 10 overs, Bangladesh were finally bowled out for 70 runs in 15.4 overs.
Earlier, Mustafizur Rahman’s five-wicket haul couldn’t stop New Zealand for posting a decent 146-run target with the help of Williamson’s 42 and Colin Munro’s 35.
New Zealand skipper Kane scored 42 (five fours and one six), his highest in the tournament, before being bowled by Mustafizur, who sent both the openers back to the hut. Williamson’s previous scores in the tournament were – 8 vs India, 24 vs Australia and 17 vs Pakistan.
Opting to bat first, New Zealand openers Williamson and Henry Nicholls gave a good start before Mustafizur dismissed Nicholls (7) in the fourth over. The duo put on 25 runs for the first wicket as the Black Caps completed their Powerplay overs on 36/1.
In search of an early breakthrough skipper Mashrafe Mortaza used five bowlers in the first five overs – bowling himself, Shuvagata Hom, Shakib Al Hasan, Mustafizur and Al-Amin.
Williamson, who has not impressed with the bat so far in the tournament, started the onslaught, hitting back-to-back boundaries off the last two balls of Mortaza’s first over. Nicholls, who made his T20I debut today, followed that up with a boundary off the third ball of Shuvagata Hom’s second over but he could not cash-in on the opportunity and was bowled by Mustafizur, who gave the first breakthrough for his side in the fourth over of the innings. Nicholls replaced Martin Guptill, who was given some rest before the semi-finals.
After removing openers, Mustafizur picked three more wickets in his last two overs, in the form of Grant Elliott, Mitchell Santner and Nathan McCullum, to finish his quota of four overs with an impressive figure of 5 for 22.
At the half mark of their innings New Zealand were at 59/2. Bangladesh have not let New Zealand got away with this match as they’ve kept the run rate in check – under seven runs per over. New Zealand reached 99 for 3 after 15 overs after losing Munro to Al-Amin Hossain.