Batsmen have displayed nerves of steel to fire Bangladesh to a thrilling 5-wicket win over New Zealand in the last tri-nation series game and in the process, earn them the sixth position in ODI rankings.
The Black Caps set the Tigers a 271-run chase at Dublin’s Clontarf Cricket Club Ground on Wednesday.
Bangladesh rode on half-centuries from Tamim Iqbal (65) and Sabbir Rahman (65) before Mahmudullah (46) and Mushfiqur Rahim’s (45) gritty stand carried them over the finish line with 10 balls to spare and seal their first away win against the Kiwis.
Tamim and Sabbir fashioned a solid base with a century stand for the second wicket but New Zealand fought back with quick wickets as the chase collapsed midway through the innings.
Tamim began the run hunt in emphatic style when he clubbed spinner Jeetan Patel over long off for a six in the first delivery. But the charge was short-lived as Soumya Sarkar fell for a duck two balls later.
Tamim and Sabbir then played themselves in to begin the rebuilding. The pair’s strokeplay delighted the Bangladesh fans as they sent the ball to all corners of the ground.
The left-hander has been in fine touch all through the series and continued to show his class with crisp drives and calculated pulls. He led the way for Sabbir to carve out the century stand in 117 balls, cracking six boundaries and one six in 80 balls.
At the other end, Sabbir appeared more composed than he was in his previous three innings. He cracked nine sweetly-timed boundaries in his 83-ball knock.
They were, however, more keen to score through boundaries rather than rotating the strikes in their sparkling 136-run partnership, which eventually brought about Tamim’s downfall when he holed out at deep midwicket.
The departure triggered a mini-collapse as Sabbir soon ran himself out and Mosaddek Hossain was trapped in front by Patel.
New Zealand fought their way back by bagging three wickets in the space of 17 runs, leaving Bangladesh vulnerable on 160-4.
Shakib Al Hasan (19) joined Mushfiqur to add 39 runs but pacer Hamish Bennett forced a top edge from the allrounder with Bangladesh yet to reach 200.
Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah then played with remarkable poise and coasted to the win with an unbroken 72-run effort off 60 balls.
The experienced pair were steady in the beginning, often scoring just a run every over. Once set on the wicket, they never looked back as they smashed 46 runs from the last 32 balls they faced.
Earlier, half-centuries from Tom Latham, Neil Broom and Ross Taylor lifted New Zealand to 270 for 8 despite a late fightback from Bangladesh bowlers.
Electing to field first, Bangladesh were sloppy in the field, dropping four clear opportunities to allow their opposition to set a good total on a fast outfield.
Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Shakib and Nasir Hossain picked up two wickets each while Mustafizur Rahman and Rubel Hossain grabbed one apiece. The Tigers made it difficult for themselves by giving away 18 extras.
But a century stand between Latham and Broom was the highlight of the New Zealand innings.
Latham, however, survived in the first over when Nasir, playing his first match of the series, dropped a sitter at square leg. The left-handed opener punished Bangladesh by scoring 84 to follow up on his century from the Kiwis’ previous game against Ireland.
Mustafizur took out Luke Ronchi (2) with a length ball in the fourth over, but Broom (63) joined Latham in the middle and put up resistance.
With the sun shining down on the Irish capital, the pair dazzled the crowd with some fine shots all around the wicket.
Latham continued his rich vein of form by reaching his half-century off 51 deliveries, but soon he offered a return catch to offspinner Mosaddek who made a mess of the opportunity.
The duo took New Zealand past 100 in the 19th over before crafting the century stand from 113 balls.
Mashrafe kept rotating his bowlers in search of wickets but much to the skipper’s frustration, Broom reached his half-century before being dropped by Soumya near the boundary.
The skipper finally broke the stand with a sharp catch at square leg to see the back of Broom off Nasir, who struck again in his next over to take Latham out and revive Bangladesh’s hopes.
Ross Taylor (60 not out) and Corey Anderson (24) then added 41 runs before a mini-collapse brought the Tigers back in the hunt.
Mashrafe and Shakib took out Anderson, James Neesham (6), Mitchell Santner (0) and Colin Munro (1) in the space of 18 runs, with the last three wickets falling for just 3 runs.
Taylor, dropped on 58, shepherded his team past 250 with a gritty unbeaten knock.
The victory means Bangladesh finished on 10 points in the table, two below New Zealand, keeping in mind their first game against the hosts was washed out.
New Zealand: 270/8 in 50 overs (Latham 84, Ronchi 2, Broom 63, Taylor 60*, Anderson 24, Neesham 24, Neesham 6, Snatner 0, Munro 1, Henry 5, Patel 7*; Mashrafe 2/52, Mustafizur 1/46, Rubel 1/56, Nasir 2/47, Shakib 2/41, Mosaddek 0/14)
Bangladesh: 271/5 in 48.2 overs (Tamim 65, Soumya 0, Sabbir, Mosaddek 10, Mushfiqur 45*, Shakib 19, Mahmudullah 46*; Patel 2/55, Henry 0/49, Bennett 1/47, Anderson 0/37, Santner 1/53, Neesham 0/28)
Result: Bangladesh win by 5 wickets
Man of the Match: Mushfiqur Rahim
Man of the Match: Tom Latham