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After beating Bangladesh by eight wickets at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium tonight (Friday), New Zealand have bagged six points so far. They chased the 246-run target with seven overs and a ball to spare.
As for the Tigers, with two losses in three contests so far, they will need to find a way back and do that quickly before world beaters get the better of them. They’re currently at the sixth spot in the points table with a net run-rate of -0.7.
Williamson is Back to Boost NZ’s 2023 CWC Campaign
Kane Williamson is the only captain in world cricket who was leading the Black Caps in the 2019 world cup and is still in charge at this year’s edition of the mega tournament.
The NZ management has made it clear that he is the man to bring them glory and they will back him no matter what. And why not? Williamson has led them to the world cup final and won them the Test championship as well.
He came back from injury in this match, only to play a match-winning knock of 78 before leaving the field due to his thumb injury. He was retired hurt.
Ravin Rachindra was elevated to the opening spot to face the new ball alongside Devon Conway. Will Young took the ax for Williamson to come in and the skipper made it seem like he was never gone.
After he laid the foundation with Conway, NZ looked solid to chase it down with ease. Once Conway departed, Daryl Mitchell did not let the pressure of losing a wicket get to both batters.
While Williamson was happy to go about playing low-risk shots and rotating the strike, Mitchell was happy to smack the Bangladesh bowlers for boundaries.
He scored a whopping 89 not out off only 67 balls, thanks to his four sixes and 8 fours.
There were just not enough runs on the board to really threaten NZ despite losing in-form Ravindra early in the chase.
Bangladesh’s Top-Order Disappoints
Liton Das’s dismissal on the very first ball he faced meant bad news for Shakib Al Hasan’s side. A duck to a player of Das’s stature meant that the top-order will have to work their way through to keep the shine off the new ball.
The other opener, Tanzid Hasan, also departed early at 16 to Lockie Ferguson.
Mehdy Hasan looked solid at number 3 until he was dismissed at 30.
Najmul Hassan Shanto could manage only 7 runs, and that meant that captain Shakeb had to walk in quite earlier than he was expected.
Shakeb and Rahim Provide Some Stability
Using his immense experience in ODIs, Shakeb put the pressure back on NZ as he scored a patient knock of 40 off 51 balls.
Wicket-keeper Mushfiqur Rahim upped the ante in the middle and late overs, smacking NZ pacers all over the park. It felt for a moment as if he was playing a different track and other Bangladesh batters on a different one.
His uppercut to backward point for six had Lockie Ferguson in awe as the veteran Bangladesh batter smoked 66 runs. He was the highest run-scorer for Bangladesh tonight.
Rahim’s knock helped Shakeb’s unit reach a decent total of 242 or else they may not have even crossed the 200-run mark the way the Bangladesh batsmen were going about tonight.
It was Matt Henry who rattled his stumps to put the Black Caps back on track in the first inning.
Credit goes to Mahmudullah as well, who smashed 41 runs in the death overs.
Pacers rattle Bangladesh
Courtesy of Trent Boult, Liton Das was shown the way to pavilion in the first over. With an attacking batter like Das walking back to the hut this early, the NZ pacers were on top very quickly.
Ferguson claimed wickets of Tanzid Hasan, Mehidy Hasan and the Bangladesh captain
His figures were 3/49 in 10 overs.
Boult went for 2/45, Matt Henry was a tad expensive as he conceded 58 and picked two wickets. Medium-pacer Daryl Mitchell bowled only one over which went for 13 runs.
Mitchell Santner was exquisite as always, conceding only 31 runs in his full quota, bowling a maiden over and picking Taskin Ahmed’s wicket in the death overs.
Rachindra went wicketless but bowled well in his seven overs, conceding only 37 runs.
Conway’s Golden Touch Continues in World Cup
Devon Conway has become the backbone of NZ’s top order in every format. Ever since his debut in ODIs against Bangladesh in 2021, the left-handed opener has found it quite easy to score in the format. His average of almost 53 runs.
With an unbeaten 152* In the opening game against England, he got the highest individual score of the tournament so far.
His 152 against the Englishmen, 32 against Netherland and 45 against Bangladesh tonight has made him the highest run -getter of this world cup with 229 runs in three innings, just above South Africa’s Quinton de Kock (209 runs).
New Zealand have been experimenting with their opening duo for a long while now. During the Pakistan tour, they put in vice-captain Tom Latham and newcomer Will Young to face the new ball and have a righty-lefty opening combination.
It did not work out for the Black Caps so they put Conway back again and the left-handed hitter has not disappointed the NZ management.
The most important factor for any opener is to battle pace and swing upfront of quality bowlers on a consistent basis and the 32-year-old South African has just been making that look so easy.
With a firm base and mediocre backlift, he doesn’t let any bad ball go unpunished. He has all the shots in the book and has a knack for timing the ball instead of using pure muscle to send it outside the ground.