Bangladesh go down fighting

Azad Majumder. London | Published: 18:23, Jun 05,2019 | Updated: 02:18, Jun 06,2019


Bangladesh's Sakib Al Hasan plays shot during their 2019 Cricket World Cup group stage match against and New Zealand at The Oval in London on Wednesday. ¬ - AFP photo

Bangladesh made a match out of nothing before suffering a two-wicket loss against New Zealand in their second World Cup match at the Oval, London on Wednesday.
New Zealand seemed cruising when Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor put a century stand before Mehedi Hasan and Mosaddek Hossain, and Mohammad Saifuddin claimed two wickets each to give Bangladesh a late chance.
Mehedi removed Williamson for 40 to break their 105-run third wicket stand and then dismissed Tom Latham for a duck in the same over.
New Zealand began to feel pressure once dismissed Ross Taylor for 82 and Colin de Grandhomme for 16 and Saifuddin took the wicket of James Neesham with 27 still needed from 39 balls.
But Mitchell Santner kept his cool to stay unbeaten on 17 and take New Zealand home, replying to Bangladesh to 244 all out.
The Kiwis had Bangladesh wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim to thank after his school-boy like error helped Williamson avoid a run out just when pressure began to creep in on the side.
Williamson was trying to rebuild New Zealand innings after Sakib al Hasan dismissed two openers Martin Guptill (25) and Collin Munro (24) to leave the side stuttering at 55-2.
Taylor pushed Sakib towards mid-on to run for single, but Williamson, who then was batting eight, was late to react.
Tamim Iqbal made perfect at the striker’s end that could have hit the stumps directly.
But Mushfiq moved in front of the stumps to collect the ball and dislodged the bail with his elbow in the process.
Williamson, who was at least two metres away when the ball came to the wicketkeeper, survived unbelievably and punished Bangladesh inevitably.
With a long batting line-up, New Zealand reached 248-8 in 47.1 overs despite late flurry of wickets.
Bangladesh will also regret their batting in the game as almost every batsman got a start but none could convert it to fifty expect Sakib, who hit 64 off 68 balls before finishing with 2-47 playing his 200th one-day internationals.
Soumya Sarkar and Tamim put 45 runs in the opening stand before Soumya perished with a run-a-ball 25.
After Bangladesh withered the initial threat, Matt Henry bowled Soumya to end the impressive opening stand and Lockie Ferguson took the control of the innings immediately.
Ferguson bowled with sheer pace to unsettle Tamim, who miscued a pull shot to give Trent Boult a simple catch after making 24 runs.
Sakib and Mushfiq shared 50 runs for the third wicket to repair the damage to put the pressure back on New Zealand for a brief period.
Sakib looked in imperious form once he struck James Neesham for three fours in one over.
A mix-up between Sakib and Mushfiq helped New Zealand claw back as the later was run out for 19.
Sakib, however, continued to bat in his usual manner and brought his second fifty of the competition off 54 balls.
Colin de Grandhomme delivered a huge blow when he took an edge from Sakib to force him giving a catch to Latham behind the stumps, the all-rounder’s 41-run stand with Mohammad Mithun.
Bangladesh began to stutter once Sakib departed as Mithun (21), Mahmdullah (20) both threw their wickets just when they looked set in the middle.
Bangladesh could edge closer to 250-run mark owing to a little cameo of Mohammad Saifuddin who made 29 of 23 balls before becoming the last batsman dismissed.
Henry bowled Saifiuddin, who hit three fours and the only six of the innings off Mitchel Santner.
Henry picked highest 4-47 for New Zealand, who were also brilliant in the field saving at least 25 run that left Bangladeshi batsmen frustrated at times.
Bangladesh earlier fielded an unchanged squad from their Sunday’s 21-run over South Africa at the same ground.
New Zealand thrashed Sri Lanka by 10 wickets in their first game of the tournament.



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