New Zealand has taken the World Cup 2023 by storm after recording impressive victories in the first two games. Bangladesh comes to face the Kiwis on the back of a crushing defeat at the hands of England. The historic MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai is the venue for the latest game in this budding rivalry of world cricket. Will the Bangladeshi boys surprise the cricketing world with a major upset? Or will it be another statement for the Black Caps?
Bangladesh made one change to their team: The experienced Mahmudullah came in for Mahedi Hasan. Kane Willamson finally returned to New Zealand after a long absence due to an ACL injury.
- Liton Das (WK) 2. Tanzid Hasan 3. Mehidy Hasan 4. Najmul Hossain Shanto 5. Shakib Al Hasan (Cap.) 6. Mushfiqur Rahim 7. Towhid Hridoy 8. Mahmudullah 9. Taskin Ahmed 10. Shoriful Islam 11. Mustafizur Rahman
- Devon Conway 2. Rachin Ravindra 3. Kane Williamson (Cap.) 4. Daryl Mitchell 5. Tom Latham (WK) 6. Glenn Phillips 7. Mark Chapman 8. Mitchell Santner 9. Matt Henry 10. Lockie Ferguson 11. Trent Boult
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson won the coin toss and chose to bowl first.
Captaincy & Tactics
There was one tactic that was evident from the New Zealand seamers – to bowl short at the Bangladeshi batters. The Tiger batting order averages 30.75, striking at 85.64 runs per hundred balls against short pitch deliveries. The plan worked perfectly for them – Each one of Liton, Mehidy, and Shakib perished on bouncers. The spinners also varied their pace to test the mettle of the batters.
Bangladesh bowled with a lot of intent with the new ball. However, the absence of a wrist spinner hurt them badly because of the ineffectiveness of the finger spinners. Mustafizur Rahman used his cutters well, but none of his fellow bowlers were able to back him up except the ever-brilliant Shakib Al Hasan.
Bangladesh started in the worst way possible; Liton Das came down the track and flicked the first ball of the innings straight to the fine-leg fielder. Tanzid Hasan and Mehidy Hasan started straight away with some glorious drives. But both fell to soft dismissals within a short time. Najmul Hossain is the highest run scorer for Bangladesh this year with 764 runs, and he followed suit with an attempted flick.
It was the old warriors who came to Bangladesh’s rescue once again. Mushfiqur and Shakib’s first-ever World Cup partnership of 84 gave the team impetus in a famous run chase 16 years ago. The duo rolled back the years with 96 runs added for the fifth wicket stand. Shakib hit Lockie Ferguson for a six as a cramp significantly limited his movements. He departed on the next ball by trying to recreate that shot, the skipper adding valuable 40 runs.
The ever-dependable Mushfiqur Rahim was bringing his repertoire of shots into the game. He nullified the barrage of short balls by playing uppercuts and down the leg side. Mushfiqur completed his 9th 50+ innings in the World Cup, only behind Sangakkara (12) in the list of highest 50+ innings for a wicketkeeper-batsman at the World Cup.
A dipping delivery from Matt Henry brought upon the pocket dynamo’s demise, a valiant effort of 66 runs off 75 balls. Mahmudullah scored 41 from 49 balls to give the bowlers something to defend.
Rachin Ravindra came to open the innings for the first time and quickly perished through a wonderful delivery from the Fizz. Kane Williamson joined Conway in the middle, and the arduous journey towards fitness was finally completed. The first ten overs yielded only 10 runs as the batsmen were cautious in their approach. They put on an 80-run partnership by going through the gears.
The vintage Kane Williamson was on show in Chennai – the cut shots, the drives, the glances. He had 89% control throughout his innings. The right-hander eventually had to retire as a precaution after reaching 78 from 107 balls.
Daryl Mitchell started off his innings with a six off Shakib. He continued in that fashion, cruising to 89 from 67 balls to guide New Zealand to the destination. The Bangladeshi bowlers were bowling short to him, and Mitchell retorted with regular pull shots, which yielded 14 runs throughout his innings. The right-hander hit 10 boundaries, including 4 sixes, in that attempt to improve net run rate.
The New Zealand bowlers were using the short ball on a hard pitch to trouble the batsmen. Lockie Ferguson was bowling at an express pace, regularly clocking past the 90 miles/h mark. Ferguson picked up three wickets and tormented the Bangladeshi batters who struggled against the short deliveries. 28% of his deliveries pitched on the shorter side.
Trent Boult reached the landmark of 200 ODI wickets in this game. The left-arm pacer has picked up 42 wickets already at the World Cups with an average of 23.26. Matt Henry also picked up two to restrict the target to 250.
Mustafizur Rahman started impressively with the new ball in hand. He snared in-from Ravindra with a brilliant delivery outside off and almost followed it up by dismissing Conway on 4. But it never materialised, and the New Zealand batters started finding the middle after initial struggles.
Mehidy Hasan looked ordinary with the ball, and Taskin Ahmed also had a frustrating night. Taskin would be desperate to change his World Cup stats: 11 wickets at an average of 41.00, giving away 6.36 runs per over.
Shakib Al Hasan dismissed Conway while the latter was attempting a reverse sweep. He has picked up 38 wickets against the Kiwis in his illustrious ODI career, at an average of 26.36. But Williamson and Mitchell never faltered to secure an easy victory.
New Zealand aced both ground fielding and catching in this game. They saved singles inside the circle and boundaries to stem the flow of runs. Conway took a diving catch at short mid-wicket to dismiss Shanto. Tom Latham’s gloves were tested with two skiers, and he grabbed both of the chances.
Bangladesh were left to rue their missed chances. Mehidy got a difficult chance to catch Conway, but Shakib missed the chance to send Williamson back. The game started slipping away after these chances. It was another night of frustration for the Tigers, who looked sluggish and languid out in the field.
After spending 7 months on the sideline with an ACL injury, Kane Williamson made his comeback in a New Zealand jersey. The legendary batsman looked to be in perfect touch by scoring a characteristic game-changing knock. Daryl Mitchell made a stroke-infused unbeaten 89 to guide his team home.
Mushfiqur Rahim stood tall in the face of a Kiwi onslaught to score a resilient innings of 66. Mahmudullah’s resilient knock of 41 took Bangladesh close to the 250 mark. Shakib Al Hasan made 40 runs while suffering from a bad cramp. Lockie Ferguson was rapid and direct, and he claimed three Bangladeshi wickets.
Musfizur Rahman was bowling brilliantly early on under the lights. He removed Rachin Ravindra with a brilliant delivery to give the Bangladeshi fans some hope. He pitched one on the good length zone to Devon Conway, and the left-hander nudged it toward the cover region.
Mehidy Hasan Miraz dived and stuck out his left hand to pouch the ball. But he failed to grab it to give Conway an early reprieve at the score of 4. Had the half-chance been taken, Bangladesh would have gained control of the match at a crucial stage. The opening batsman went on to form a key partnership with skipper Williamson, which built the foundation of a solid victory.
New Zealand won the game easily by 8 wickets with 43 balls to spare.
Player of the Match
Lockie Ferguson was selected as the man of the match for his fiery spell of fast bowling that yielded 3 wickets for 49 runs.
|Bangladesh Total: 245/9 (50 overs)||New Zealand Total: 248/2 (42.5 overs)|
|Mushfiqur Rahim 66 (75)||Daryl Mitchell 89* (67)|
|Mahmudullah 41 (49)||Kane Williamson 78 (107)|
|Lockie Ferguson 3/49||Mustafizur Rahman 1/36|
|Trent Boult 2/45||Shakib Al Hasan 1/54|
New Zealand won the game by a comfortable margin in the end. The New Zealand pace bowlers restricted Bangladesh to a modest score of 245. After losing Ravindra early, Kane Williamson, along with Conway and Mitchell, made the journey smooth for the Kiwis. They are currently at the top of the points table with three wins out of three. Bangladesh will face another tough test against the host nation, India, in their next game. New Zealand’s next chance to prolong their winning streak comes on Wednesday; Afghanistan is their next opponent.