New Zealand produced another clinical performance to record a crushing 75-run victory over Bangladesh in their final group game and entered the semifinals of the ICC T20 World Cup 2016 as table toppers.
New Zealand’s win meant Bangladesh pacer Mustafizur Rahman’s five-for went in vain at the iconic Eden Gardens.
The left-arm pacer grabbed a career best 5/22, bowling some unplayable cutters, but New Zealand still managed a competitive 145 for eight in the stipulated 20 overs. However, Bangladesh soon faced the ignominy of being bowled out for their lowest ever total, ending their innings at 70 in 15.4 overs. This was New Zealand’s fourth straight win in the event, ensuring they remained unbeaten in the Super 10 stage.
Bangladesh batsmen put up a horror show after opener Tamim Iqbal (3) was brilliantly by Colin Munro in the second over. Their previous lowest of 78 all out, incidentally, was against the same team in Hamilton.
Ish Sodhi (3/21) and Elliott (3/12) dented Bangladesh’s chase as their batsmen showed complete lack of application. The match was further delayed for 15 minutes because of power failure in one of the four floodlight towers.
Bangladesh will, thus, return home winless from the sixth edition of the mega event.
Earlier, Mustafizur dismissed openers Henry Nicholls (7) and Kane Williamson (42) and was deadly with his variation. He returned to bowl at the death and completed a fine five-four with two wickets in successive balls.
Despite Mustafizur’s incisive bowling, skipper Mashrafe Mortaza opted for a defensive strategy, and that allowed Williamson and Colin Munro (35) to keep the scoreboard ticking.
Ross Taylor also played a fine cameo of 28 from 24 balls (2x4, 1x6) to take New Zealand to a total which proved enough.
Opting to bat, the Kiwis were surpisingly sluggish with their batting display in the absence of Martin Guptill who was rested.
Mustafizur bowled two deadly overs, shattering the stumps of Nicholls and Williamson, before Mortaza took the pacer off to keep him for the death.
Having bowled Nicholls with a slower cutter to give his team a breakthrough in the fourth over, Mustafizur was brought back in the ninth and the New Zealand skipper attacked him with a boundary.
But the bowler bounced back strongly to frustrate Williamson with his variation in the next two balls before disturbing the timber.
In the next over, left-hander Munro was trapped in front of the stumps by a Shakib delivery, but South African umpire Johan Cloete was not convinced.
Bangladesh also had a mixed outing on the field, dropping two regulation catches to go with their two fine efforts by Shuvagata Hom and Mohammad Mithun to dismiss Grant Elliott (9) and Taylor.
Dropped on 9 by Al Amin Hossain, Taylor provided the big push to the target towards the end.
New Zealand made two changes to their line-up, handing a T20I debut to Nicholls as the in-form Guptill was rested, while Nathan McCulllum was brought back in place of Adam Milne.
Bangladesh opted for the same XI that suffered a one-run loss to India in the previous match.