There were quite a few firsts when Bangladesh met New Zealand in the second T20I of the series at the McLean Park (30th March 2021). For the first time, Bangladesh was able to push New Zealand in a slight spot of bother as bowlers reduced them to 55/3 with the highest score in the top-three being 21. For the first time, a team walked out without knowing what they were chasing for victory. And for the first time, Bangladesh at least managed to make an impression that they can win against New Zealand in their backyard.
It came down to a brilliant display of batting-depth from New Zealand as a big total on the board never went out of sight even amid falling wickets. If it was Devon Conway and Will Young who stole the show in the previous fixture, Glenn Phillips and Daryl Mitchell rose to the occasion to evade the little trouble that Bangladesh had been able to cause with the new ball and take their side to a winning total. It was another day when New Zealand looked steady to cross 200, and it took two rain interruptions to stop them from doing that.
In response to the hosts’ 173/5 from 17.5 overs, Bangladesh had to face a bizarre, unprecedented event where they had no clue of what they needed to chase for the win before play was halted dramatically to set things in order. The once-thought 148-run target was revised to 170 and then 171 as late as the 13th over of their innings, which was reduced to 16 owing to the lost time due to rain.
The early loss of Liton Das notwithstanding, Bangladesh approached the target with aggression with Soumya Sarkar in cruise control. Ish Sodhi, ever so impressive in the previous game, was taken to cleaners as he leaked 19 off the very first of his spell and the visitors were 94/1 in 10 overs, needing 80 from 6 overs when Tim Southee removed Sarkar, who just reached his half-century. That is all it took as things went on a downward spiral for Bangladesh, who lost the next 6 for only 43, eventually falling short by 28 runs, to register their 31st defeat in the nation.
Bangladesh entered New Zealand with optimism and hope so high that their coach, Russell Domingo, banked upon the team to do that which no other Bangladesh unit had done in the past. Going ahead with their preferred format against a side that had no Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor, perhaps those hopes were not over-enthusiastic or arbitrary. A rude awakening, however, awaited Bangladesh as they succumbed 0-3 in the series.
In T20Is, it was their side that had to grapple with the absentee problem with three of their vitals missing due to personal reasons or injury. With the series going to the hosts, the last game will be Bangladesh’s quest to, once again, try to do what they have continued to fail at for 20 years now: find a win in New Zealand. At Hamilton, they certainly had a few positives but as Tamim Iqbal expressed his frustration about “just taking positives” in the ODIs, it is indeed time to convert those positives into ones that bring victories to them.
Pitch and conditions
Eden Park has often turned out to be the graveyard for bowlers and that not only due to a surface conducive for batting but the freakily short boundaries. At a harsh venue for bowlers such as this, where even the average score is 170 in 23 T20Is, the lesser the errors, the better. 17 times out of 23 occasions, the teams have crossed 150, with a 12:9 record in favour of chasers.
Playing combination for NZ vs BAN
New Zealand swapped Adam Milne for Lockie Ferguson in the previous game. Though there is no reason why they should chop and change their combination, they might bring back Ferguson at the expense of either Milne or Hamish Bennett.
Predicted XI: Martin Guptill, Finn Allen, Glenn Phillips (WK), Will Young, Devon Conway, Mark Chapman, Daryl Mitchell, Tim Southee (C), Lockie Ferguson/Adam Milne, Hamish Benett, Ish Sodhi
After an expensive outing for Mustafizur Rahman (0/48) in the first T20I, Bangladesh slotted in Taskin Ahmed, who was treated no differently (1/49). Bangladesh might be inclined to give a chance to Rubel Hossain or Al-Amin Hossain warming the bench. They will continue to miss the services of Mushfiqur Rahim.
Predicted XI: Mohammad Naim, Liton Das (WK), Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah (C), Afif Hossain, Mahedi Hasan, Mohammad Saifuddin, Shoriful Islam, Nasum Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman/Rubel Hossain/Al-Amin Hossain
NZ vs BAN Head-to-Head
Played – 9 | New Zealand – 9 | Bangladesh – 0
NZ vs BAN Broadcast Details
Match Timings –11:30 AM IST
Live Streaming – FanCode
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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