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All-round Neesham stars in New Zealand win over Bangladesh

James Neesham starred with both bat and the ball
James Neesham starred with both bat and the ball

New Zealand 258-6 (Latham 54) beat
Bangladesh 257-9 (Sarkar 61) by four wickets
Third match, Tri-Series, Dublin

James Neesham scored a fifty and picked two wickets while Hamish Bennett made a strong comeback with a three-wicket haul as New Zealand managed to chase down 258 against Bangladesh in the 48th over to seal a four-wicket win in the third match of the tri-series in Dublin.

New Zealand won the toss and opted to bat first. Soumya Sarka (61) looked positive from the outset as he along with Tamim Iqbal (23) added 46 for naught in the first powerplay.

Sarkar brought the 50-run opening stand with a boundary in the 11th over but Neesham (2-68) provided the initial breakthrough for New Zealand when he had Tamim caught in the covers.

Sabbir Rahman (1) could not last long as he was castled by Mitchell Santner (1-36) in the 17th over after Sarkar completed a 53-ball fifty. Mushfiqur Rahim (55) announced his arrival with a six and a four as he stitched a 28 run stand with Sarkar.

Just when Bangladesh were looking good crossing the 115-run mark in the 25th over, Sarkar was caught at mid-wicket to give Ish Sodhi (2-40) a wicket. The leg-spinner soon accounted for Shakib Al Hasan (6) as well to leave Bangladesh reeling at 132 for four.

Rahim, who notched his fifty of 60 deliveries, played a vital knock along with Mahmudullah (51) and Mosaddek Hossain (41) to help Bangladesh post 257 for nine in the 50 overs. For New Zealand, Bennett (3-31) was the pick of the bowlers while Sodhi and Neesham snared two each as well.

Mashrafe Mortaza (1-58), who returned from a suspension due to poor over-rate opened the bowling for Bangladesh but he was given a raw deal by Luke Ronchi (27), who hit a six and a four in the first over.

As Tom Latham (54) looked solid at the other end, Ronchi continued to play his strokes before his 27-ball knock was ended by Mustafizur Rahman (2-33).

George Worker (17) was handed a reprieve when he was dropped bu Mehedi Hasan (0-45) off his own bowling in the ninth over and soon he stepped up scoring a six in the next over. However, an indecision in running saw Worker run out in the 17th over.

With a couple of boundaries, the New Zealand captain reached a 57-ball half-century. However, he failed to carry on after edging one to the keeper off Rubel Hossain (2-53).

Ross Taylor (25) failed to carry on as he was trapped LBW by Mustafiur in the 31st over but Neil Broom (48) and Neesham (52) shared a vital 80 run stand for the fifth wicket to take New Zealand out of the woods.

Just when New Zealand reached 31 off the final 44 deliveries, Broom fell to Rubel and on reaching his fifty, Neesham too departed, leaving the Black Caps 17 away from a victory which Colin Munro (16 not out) ensured, they achieved in 47.3 overs with four wickets in hand.

Neesham was awarded the player of the match as New Zealand maintained their position at the top with two wins from as many games.

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