Bangladesh's dream of ending the winless drought in New Zealand dashed on Saturday as the Tigers lost the first match of the three-match ODI series against the hosts by eight wickets.
New Zealand won the toss and sent the visitors to bat first at Dunedin. Bangladesh captain Tamim Iqbal hit a six off Trent Boult in the first over of the match – signalling a good batting display by the Tigers.
However, Bangladesh were packed for 131 in 41.5 overs. In reply, New Zealand raced to 132 for two in 21.2 overs and won the game by eight wickets.
Martin Guptill hit 38 off 19 balls with three fours and four sixes. He did not give any chance to the Tigers' bowlers to settle in.
New Zealand added 54 runs in just 5.3 overs in the first-wicket stand. Taskin Ahmed, the right-arm pacer of Bangladesh, removed Guptill in his first over. But it was not enough to pose a big challenge to the hosts.
The other wicket that New Zealand lost in the form of the debutant opener Devon Conway was taken by Hasan Mahmud who conceded 49 runs in 4.2 overs.
New Zealand fielded three newbies in this game – Conway, Daryl Mitchell and William Young.
Earlier, Tamim was removed by Boult in the fifth over of the game. Soumya Sarkar, who was promoted to number three, also got dismissed in the same over adding nothing to the board.
Liton Das and Mushfiqur Rahim added 23 runs in the third wicket stand and hinted at a big partnership. But Liton fell prey to part-timer James Neesham.
Bangladesh got the first of their biggest two partnerships in this game when Mushfiqur and Mohammad Mithun added 27 in the fourth wicket stand.
But an unfortunate dismissal of Mithun broke the partnership as Mahmudullah drove straight down the pitch and Neesham got a fingertip on the ball which hit the stumps of non-striker Mithun. He was out of the crease at the moment and got dismissed.
Mahedi Hasan and Taskin Ahmed accompanied Mahmudullah in two more partnerships to add 20 and 27 runs on the board.
Mahedi started well with a six, but he failed to bat longer in his maiden game in New Zealand for the national team.
Mahumudllah was caught by Mitchel Santner at the mid-wicket area off the first ball of the second batting powerplay.
Scoring 27 off 64 balls, Mahmudullah was the highest run-getter for Bangladesh while Mushfiqur posted 23. None of the other batsmen was able to pass the 20-run mark.
For New Zealand, veteran pacer Boult bagged four wickets conceding 27 runs in 8.5 overs while Neesham and Santer bagged two wickets each.
The remaining two ODIs of this series will be played on March 23 and 26 at Christchurch's Hagley Oval, and Wellington's Basin Reserve.
Source: United News of Bangladesh