Bangladesh tried so hard and got so far, but they just couldn't seal the match in a rain-interrupted fixture on a drizzly Tuesday evening in Napier. Rain halted the game twice before the DLS drama unfolded and eventually saw the visitors lose the match by 28 runs (D/L Method).
New Zealand are 2-0 up in the T20I series with only a match in hand.
Winning the toss Bangladesh elected to field first and restricted the hosts to 173 for 5 in 17.5 overs before rain stopped the game. Bangladesh first knew they needed 148 from 16 overs to win the match but eventually, the target went up to 170 in 16 overs.
They managed to bag 142 runs thanks to Soumya Sarkar's quickfire 51 off 27 deliveries which meant they fall 28 runs short.
Glenn Phillips was adjudged man of the match for his all-round performance.
The DLS drama
Bangladesh had already played nine deliveries into their chase without knowing the official revised target after rain interrupted play twice during the New Zealand innings.
There were no official announcements and clarity on Bangladesh's target till that point. till then.
It seemed that Bangladesh batted the first nine balls of their innings with the knowledge that their target in 16 overs was 148. Except, they were chasing 170. Which, later, correctly, was changed to 171.
Bangladesh skipper Mahmudullah Riyad said that his team was in a bit of confusion as the target kept changing.
"I think there was a bit of confusion because we didn't know what the DLS score was, it kept changing on the scoreboard."
Bangladesh coach Russell Domingo and manager Sabbir Khan were spotted in the match referee's room at the start of the second over. Jeff Crowe, the match referee, and fourth umpire Shaun Haig were involved in a discussion.
Based on the DLS version 4.0 released last October, the target should actually have been 171, with 170 the par score for Bangladesh.
Earlier, New Zealand Cricket's official Twitter handle had tweeted the target was 148 in 16 overs. The ICC's website also had the same target on its scorecard. The reason for the confusion, possibly, was that the target had been calculated based on the New Zealand innings lasting all 20 overs.
Early dominance vanished in sloppy death bowling
Bangladesh bowlers picked up few early wickets after electing to field first in the second T20I. At one point, the hosts were 55 for 3 after 6 overs.
Taskin Ahmed saw catches being dropped off his bowling again in the match, this time the skipper was the culprit. He came back strongly with a wicket in that very over and took a one-handed stunner, throwing himself to his left at short fine-leg to dismiss Guptill.
Left-arm spinner Nasum Ahmed kept things tight. He gave away only 25 runs from his 4 overs and created pressure on the batsmen.
Youngster Shoriful Islam too kept it tight and came back from a hideous debut. He picked up a wicket, gave away only 16 runs from his 3 overs.
But the pressure was released by the other bowlers. They gave away runs like Christmas gifts to the Kiwi batsmen. Glenn Phillips and Daryl Mitchell took the matter into their own hands and started scoring runs for fun.
The hosts were eying 200+ before the rain stopped the play.
Rebirth of Soumya?
With a huge target to chase, someone had to step up and do the dirty job for Bangladesh. Liton went back to the pavilion in the second over. Soumya came to the crease and batted like a man on a mission.
He has been out of touch for a while now, and his innings of 51 off 27 deliveries looked like the rebirth of the old Soumya that everyone's been searching for.
The southpaw hit four fours and three sixes in his first 15 deliveries to entertain hopes of Bangladesh's first win on tour.
Ish Sodhi, Adam Milne all struggled and looked helpless in front of Soumya. At the end of seven overs, Bangladesh were well placed at 76 for 1, needing a further 95 off 54 balls with nine wickets in hand.
Phillips rises to the occasion
Glenn Phillips had a tremendous day with both bat and ball in hand. He bagged an unbeaten 58 off 31 deliveries when his team was in trouble and then bowled picked up a wicket after tightening up runs when things just started to look good for the visitors.
Phillps made full use of the sloppy death bowling by Bangladeshi pacers and took his team to a decent position. He came on to bowl after Sodhi was battered for 19 in his first over, gave away only 4 runs. He was quick and skiddy and threw the batsmen off their rhythm from around the wicket.
Bangladesh skipper said they couldn't hold on to the fine start they had in both batting and bowling in Napier. He also mentioned that if his team wants to win matches, they have to make the best use of such conditions.
"In T20 sometimes you get a good a start, sometimes you don't. But both batting and bowling, you must finish well. As a batting unit we can take some positives in this game and come back strong," said Mahmudullah in the post-match presentation.
Both teams will play the final T20I and game of this series on April 1.