It was a more closely fought game than the previous one but in the end, New Zealand beat Bangladesh quite convincingly by five wickets with 10 balls to spare in the second ODI of the ongoing three-match series at Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Tuesday.
But it wasn't as easy early on for the hosts as they were reduced to 53 for three at the 11th over while chasing a target of 272, a score which had not been successfully chased in Christchurch before this match. Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls and Will Young were the first three batsmen dismissed.
But after that, it's the 113-run stand between skipper Tom Latham and Devon Conway for the 4th wicket that made the difference. The latter was run-out in the 34th over scoring 72 and it gave Bangladesh a chance to bounce back. But the fielders let themselves down with chances going a-begging. Tom Latham would've been dismissed on 58 had Mahedi Hasan not dropped him.
Latham was given a reprieve by Mahedi Hasan who missed a caught and bowled opportunity. Bangladesh were sloppy in the field, especially towards the end.
However, the New Zealand skipper made the most use of the reprieves and scored a match-winning hundred. James Neesham, who came in at six, provided good support with his 30 off 34. Latham remained unbeaten on 110 off 108 balls. The southpaw struck 10 boundaries.
Earlier, Bangladesh were put in to bat by Tom Latham. New Zealand did not have to wait very long to strike as Liton Das pulled one straight to square leg in the second over. Das registered his second duck in last five ODI innings.
Soumya Sarkar, who came in at three, struggled initially to get his eye in. He gained momentum later on but couldn't continue as he was outfoxed by Mitchell Santner and was stumped down the leg side. Sarkar made 32 off 46 and got out at the 20th over with the score being 85 for two.
Soumya's dismissal brought Mushfiqur Rahim into the crease and he was tied down by the New Zealand bowlers. He simply had no answers to the balls that pitched on good length.
However, Tamim Iqbal batted superbly well at this period and kept the scoreboard moving. Bangladesh skipper was run-out scoring 78 off 108 deliveries courtesy of some terrific footwork by James Neesham.
It was Mohammad Mithun who stepped on the gas upon his arrival in the crease. He made sure he rotated the strike regularly and hit the odd boundaries. Mushfiqur's knock came to an end at the 41st over when he failed to clear the infield and holed out at mid-on. He scored 34 off 59 balls.
Mohammad Mithun then played some cracking shots and provided the much-needed acceleration. He struck six fours and two sixes in his career-best knock of unbeaten 73 off 57. Bangladesh scored 88 runs off the last 10 overs and posted a competitive total of 271 for six.
For New Zealand, all the bowlers except Neesham bowled pretty well. Mitchell Santner picked up two for 51 while Trent Boult, Matt Henry and Kyle Jamieson claimed one wicket each.
Tamim Iqbal, in the post-match presentation, said, "We should've won this game. Bowlers created chances, we couldn't hold on. They dropped catches, you know. When a situation comes, you have to do things 100%. Disappointed today. Batters did really well. It was a different surface, a bit slow, 271 was a decent score. And when the chances came, we couldn't hold on. Quite disappointing. Mithun was fantastic, Mushi was well. Anyway, I thought it was a much-improved game. We are not here to improve our cricket but to win. See, people will drop catches. It hurts. If we took our two chances, it was game on. People don't miss catches willingly, it happens to everyone. When the next chance comes, we need to grab with both hands. We just have to be positive in Wellington and give a crack to them again."
Latham, who was adjudged player of the match, said, "Nice to have a match-winning contribution. We knew Bangladesh would come out fighting with the ball. We had to build some partnerships - did that with Dev (Devon Conway) and Neesh (James Neesham). Dew made it tough. With two lefties and a couple of offies, we had to take a bit of time early on. We had those partnerships in the middle. We had our targets as batting unit and they adjust according to scores or batting units. We know we're always a couple of good overs from being on top."
New Zealand and Bangladesh will lock horns again in the third ODI in Wellington on Friday.