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New Zealand v Bangladesh, 1st ODI – 5 Talking Points

James Neesham of New Zealand
James Neesham of New Zealand is congratulated by team mates. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

The Blackcaps celebrated the Boxing Day with a handsome 77 run win with help of counter attacking knocks from Tom Latham and Colin Munro. Latham struck his career best score while Munro slammed a fiery half-century to build a record breaking 5th wicket stand and help theists cruise to a massive first inning total of 341 after Kane Williamson won the toss and opted to bat first. Overhauling such a huge target was never going to be easy. And, as the chase progressed, the chances of Bangladesh getting past it looked seemingly impossible and they eventually fell apart with just 264 in 44.5 overs.

1.Latham smashes his career best score:

Opener Tom Latham had a fabulous day displaying an exuberant batting display, scoring a match-defining 137 runs knock. The opener was at his dominant best and occupied the crease till the final overs to the match after coming out to open the inning with Guptill.

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This happens to his highest score for ODIs, beating his previous best of 110 which came against Zimbabwe in Harare back in August 2015. Batting in an attacking mood, he scored his runs at a strike rate of 113, which is only his second instance of scoring at over a run a ball in an innings of 50 or more balls. Incidentally, Latham’s highest Test score is also 137.

2. Munro – The partner in crime:

Latham, who was in a fine flow, was struggling for a stable partner. The top order men – Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson, Neil Broom and Jimmy Neesham, all got starts but failed to survive for long. This hurt the momentum a bit although New Zealand maintained a tight grip.

But, help came in the form of Colin Munro who walked in and hammered a quickfire 87 runs knock coming off just 61 balls to accelerate the innings. Together with Latham, he added 158 for the 5the wicket to take the hosts past the 300 runs mark and set the stage for a huge team total.

3. Kane Williamson becomes the fastest to 4000 runs:

New Zealand captain may have had an off-day but his 31 runs contribution batting at No.3 enabled him to complete an important career milestone. Williamson today became the joint fourth-fastest to reach to reach 4000 ODI runs and the quickest for New Zealand.

It took him just 96 Innings to achieve the feat. the earlier record for New Zealand was Martin Guptill’s 112 innings. Hashim Amla, the South African opener, is the fastest overall (81 innings). In the top five, the Blackcaps skipper is led by West Indies great Gordon Greenidge (96 innings), India’s Virat Kohli (93 innings), Another West Indies legend Sir Vivian Richards (88 innings) apart from Amla at the top.

4. Poor fielding in last ten overs:

Bangladesh missed too many chances today or say at least three dropped catches. Although the missed chances did not hurt much as it came after New Zealand had already made an impact. But, taking them have surely instilled confidence in them as a fielding unit. The first of the three chances came in the 22nd movie when Mahmudullah put down Neil Broom in the Extra Cover region.

In the 43rd over Latham, who had by that time already reached his century, mistimed a pull and edged it straight to the keeper. Unfortunately, Rahim popped the chances despite putting a dived. Later in the final overs of the match, during the 47th over, Munro also escaped a chance when he was dropped at the mid mid-wicket Shakib al Hasan. The left-arm spinner, who had all the spin bowling responsibilities on him today, was not amused at all.

5. No Mahmudullah?

Bangladesh did not manage their bowling well, especially the spin attack. Choosing to go with only Shakib al Hasan wasn’t bad but Mashrafe Mortaza did make a mistake by not going with right part time bowlers. More amusing was the fact was that Mahmudullah Riyad, their most trusted part spinner in recent times, was not even used for a single over.

The other men used – Mossadek Hossain and Soumya Sarkar – could not create any huge impact and simply leaked runs helping New Zealand smoothly sail through the middle overs. It is just hoped that Mashrafe refrains from taking such decision in the next ODI or at least tries to come in with two specialist spinners instead to ease the burden off Shakib’s shoulders.

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