New Zealand vs Bangladesh 3rd ODI Preview: Series gone, but Tigers still have chance to make history
Bangladesh came very close to registering their first-ever ODI win in New Zealand and would hope to go one step further in the third and the last match of the ODI series.
Bangladesh land some punches
After getting bundled out for just 131 in the series opener, Bangladesh batted well to score 271 after batting first in the second ODI. Given that the Bangladesh batting line-up was low on confidence and playing against a brilliant New Zealand bowling attack in their home conditions, it was a good effort to get past 270 at the Hagley Oval in the 2nd ODI, particularly when the ball was gripping a bit on the surface in Christchurch.
While the Bangladesh batsmen will have to reproduce their performance in the 3rd ODI and perhaps go one step further, their fielders will have to grab all the opportunities to ensure that they pull one back in the series.
The Bangladesh fielders dropped as many as four catches in the second ODI which cost them big time. Had those chances been converted, the team had a good chance of levelling up in the series.
Tamim, Mithun set up nicely
The batting stars for Bangladesh in the second ODI were Tamim Iqbal and Mohammad Mithun. Iqbal played sensibly for 78 off 108 deliveries, with the help of 11 fours and ensured that there was no collapse in the Bangladesh innings like in the first ODI, especially after Liton Das was dismissed for a duck.
Soumya Sarkar and Mushfiqur Rahim both got starts but failed to convert them into anything substantial. The knock of the day from Bangladesh came from the blade of Mohammad Mithun who has been in and out of the side.
Mithun remained unbeaten on 73 off 57 deliveries and struck 6 fours and 2 sixes at a batting strike rate of 128. It was his whirlwind knock which took Bangladesh past 270, which was a very competitive total at the Hagley Oval for New Zealand.
Conway, Latham come to the rescue
Mitchell Santner was the best bowler for New Zealand and pocketed two wickets while giving away just 51 runs for his 10 overs. He snaffled the key wickets of Soumya Sarkar and Mushfiqur Rahim. Trent Boult, Matt Henry and Kyle Jamieson also picked up one wicket each for New Zealand, while bowling economically.
Bangladesh sensed a chance when New Zealand were down at 53/3 from 11 overs. However, Devon Conway (72, 93b) and Tom Latham (110*, 108b) added over 100 runs for the fourth wicket to ensure that the New Zealand innings came back on track.
Catches win matches
Mustafizur Rahman and Mohammad Saifuddin picked up two wickets each for Bangladesh. Only if the team had caught a bit better, the series could have still been alive.
This is what captain Tamim Iqbal emphasised on after the match.
"We should have won this game. Bowlers created chances, we couldn't hold on. In these kinds of situations, we hardly win games. When the situation comes, we have to make sure that we do all the things 100%. Disappointed today, the batters batted really well. It was a bit slow. I thought 271 was a decent total. The bowlers started well, we got early wickets. When the chances came, we couldn't hold on. It was a much improved game, we are not here to improve, we are here to win. We had our chances today. It's a game of cricket, you do drop catches, but it really hurts. Whenever the opportunity comes, we need to grab with both hands. We need to be positive. We have to put up a better show."
Bangladesh's opportunity to record maiden ODI win in NZ
After 15 ODIs on New Zealand soil, Bangladesh are yet to open their account. But, the way they competed in the second ODI, it must have raised hope in the visitors' camp.
The team is capable of recording their first-ever ODI victory in New Zealand even though the fate of the series has already been decided.
Here are the probable playing XIs:
New Zealand - Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Devon Conway, Will Young, Tom Latham (c & wk), James Neesham, Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Kyle Jamieson, Matt Henry, Trent Boult
Bangladesh - Tamim Iqbal (c), Liton Das, Soumya Sarkar, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah, Mehidy Hasan, Mahedi Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mustafizur Rahman
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