Chennai, Oct 13: Losing wickets at regular intervals, Bangladesh could manage 245/9 in 50 overs against New Zealand in the 11th match of the ICC ODI World Cup 2023, here on Friday.
In reply, New Zealand were 37/1 in 10 overs. First match hero Rachin Ravindra, edged a simple catch to the keeper, off left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rehman.He ws out for 9.
Earlier, the Bangladesh innings, Mushfiqur Rahim (66), captain Shakib Al Hasan (40) and Mahmudullah (41 not out)) did shine with the bat. But will a target of 246 be enough to defeat a batting-heavy New Zealand side, that is anyone's guess.
Of course, Bangladesh spinners have the ability to challenge the Black Caps and can prove the predictions wrong. That may sound bit unlikely, but strange things do happen in a game of cricket.
Dependable Litton Das was back in pavilion in the very first ball of the match. He was bit extra ambitious trying to play a big shot against experienced left-arm Kiwis bowling spearhead Trent Boult the first ball he faced.
However, Das ended up offering a catch to Matt Henry without opening his account, forcing Bangladesh to a 0/1 shock from the start.
The other opener Tanzid Hasan too had a short stay in the middle. He was claimed by pacer Lockie Ferguson, caught at square leg by Devon Conway. A soft dismissal again, putting Bangladesh into more misery.
Mehidy Hasan Miraz (30 in 46 balls) and Najmul Hossain Shanto (7 in 8 balls) too departed early, reducing Bangladesh to 56/4 in 12.1 overs.
It was then up to the two most experienced members of Bangladesh side, keeper Musfiqur Rahim and skipper Shakib Al Hasan to consolidate the innings and set a fighting total.
They did well trying to rebuild and repair the early damages caused by the New Zealand bowlers. But after staying together for 17.3 overs, Rahim and Shakib pair was separated by Ferguson. The right arm pacer got Shakib out caught by keeper Tom Lotham for 40. He hit three boundaries and two sixes in his 51-ball innings.
Mushfiqur Rahim departed after scoring 66 (75 balls, 6 boundaries and 2 Sixes), with Bangladesh struggling at 175/6 in 35.5 overs.
With Boult back in attack, Towhid Hridoy departed for 13, caught by Santner. Next to go was Taskin Ahmed, who contributed 17. He was caught at deep backward square by Daryl Mitchell trying to sweep Santner.
Down the order, Mahmudullah played well with the tail to keep the score-board moving. He remained not out with a fine 41, but could not take his side over 250-mark.
This match bolstered the Kiwis as their regular skipper Kane Williamson was back in field. Earlier, injury-hit Williamson was watching his side winning splendidly against England and then beating Netherlands in the previous two outings.
Winning the toss, the Black Caps skipper had no hesitation in asking Bangladesh to bat first at MA Chidambaram Stadium, here on Friday.
Earlier, on October 5 in the inaugural match, the Kiwis humbled 2019 edition Champion England by 9 wickets. Then they replicated their success on October 9 against the Netherlands, crushing them by a convincing 99-run margin.
On the contrary, Shakib Al Hasan led Bangladesh so far had mixed fortunes in the tournament. They won against Afghanistan on October 7 by 6 wickets in Dharamsala, but lost to England by 137 runs at the same venue after three days.