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New Zealand v Bangladesh, 3rd T20I – 5 Talking Points

Kane Williamson New Zealand
Kane Williamson of New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

Having already won the ODI series 3-0 and with an unassailable lead of 2-0 in the T20I series, New Zealand went into the third T20 looking to enforce back to back whitewashes of the tour. The visitors hadn’t tasted victory against the Kiwis in New Zealand in the past 18 games across different formats and they were staring at yet another clean sweep.

After winning the toss, Mashrafe Mortaza invited the hosts to bat. The batting side suffered early blows and was reduced to 41/3 in just 6.1 overs. But just then the skipper Kane Williamson combined with Corey Anderson to resurrect the innings. Where Williamson played a steady hand of 60 runs, Anderson destroyed the bowling from the other end with an innings of 94 runs. Courtesy the power hitting, the Kiwi score was boosted to 194 at the end of 20 overs.

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Bangladesh made a promising start with the bat as their openers Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar took the score close to fifty in no time. Despite Tamim’s departure, the scoring rate was good and they reached 80 in 8 overs. But after Sarkar was removed by Ish Sodhi, there wasn’t enough resistance was the batsmen that followed. They failed to keep up with the required rate and wickets falling at regular intervals meant they fell short by 27 runs.

Here are the 5 major talking points from the game as New Zealand won the T20I series 3-0:

1. Rubel Hossain’s spirited bowling

The pacer was brought in as the first change bowler in the 3rd over and had a decent start to his spell. In the fifth over, he trapped James Neesham in front of the wickets and provided his side with the first breakthrough. Three balls later, he got another one in the form of Colin Munro, the centurion from the last game was picked up for a duck. His figures at that point of time read 7/2 in 2 overs. At the death, he was brought back into the attack and he accounted for Williamson’s wicket in the 19th over. After a bit of a hammering at the end, his bowling stats moved to 31/3 in 4 overs.

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2. Williamson-Anderson partnership

After the early collapse in the innings, Williamson needed someone to revive the innings alongside him and found an able hand in Corey Anderson. The duo started cautiously and focussed on building the innings. The captain reached a run-a-ball half-century in the process. Just then, Anderson went berserk and smashed one boundary after other. He hit Soumya Sarkar for three consecutive sixes in the 17th over. When Williamson got out for 60 runs, a brilliant partnership of 124 runs off was ended. Anderson went on to score 94 runs off just 41 balls with 10 sixes that enabled the Kiwis to a huge score of 194.

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3. Another batting failure from the visitors

The openers Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar had given the side a wonderful start in the quest for the chase. The run rate was hovering around 10 at the end of 10 overs. A platform was set for the middle order to achieve the target. But as it had happened many times in the past, they failed to cope with the pressure. After Sarkar’s dismissal, they scored merely 5-6 runs per over and that mounted the required rate. Sabbir Rahman, Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah, all stayed for a while but none of them played the defining innings. At the end, they lost by 27 runs and they still had 4 wickets in the bag.

4. Ish Sodhi’s decisive bowling spell

The leg-spinner’s introduction into the attack in the 9th over proved to be the turning point in the game. He dismissed the dangerous looking Soumya Sarkar off the second ball of his spell. He induced Sarkar into a lofted shot courtesy a dip in pace and took a smart catch off his own bowling. The breaks were applied on the scoring rate as the other bowlers also chipped in to increase the pressure. Sodhi came back in the 15th over to remove Mahmudullah after he had struck three boundaries in the previous over and once again turned on the screws on the batting. He finished with superb figures of 22/2 in 4 overs.

5. A fair bit to go for Bangladesh

In the last couple of years, there was a huge reckoning amongst the cricketing fraternity about Bangladesh’s coming of age. They were literally undefeatable in their home grounds and gave a tough time to each country that toured Bangladesh. But this tour revealed the fact that there is still a lot of work to be done for them to stand amongst the other cricketing giants. There is an altogether a different world outside the grounds of Dhaka and Chittagong. The conditions in New Zealand were adverse to what they prefer and they failed miserably. With the 2 Test matches to follow on the tour, it won’t be too difficult to predict the results of those matches as well.

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