New Zealand 95 for 5 (Allen 38, Neesham 28*, Shoriful 2-17, Mahedi 2-18) beat Bangladesh 110 (Shanto 17, Santner 4-16, Southee 2-25) by 17 runs (DLS method)
Bangladesh finished on a below-par 110 courtesy Santner’s 4 for 16 through the middle overs, but the bowling of Mahedi Hasan and Shoriful Islam led a fightback. When Neesham and Santner joined hands, the early wickets had put New Zealand behind the DLS par score, but their unbeaten 37-ball 46 partnership dragged them ahead.
Rain arrived with New Zealand’s innings back on course – needing only 16 more runs in 5.2 overs. They were adjudicated winners by 17 runs (DLS method) once the rain settled in.
New Zealand collapse breathes life into contest
A chase of 111 was meant to be regulation, but four of New Zealand’s top five batters were out for one run each. Offspinner Mahedi had opener Tim Seifert stumped and No. 3 Daryl Mitchell caught at mid-off, while Shoriful got a length ball to rattle Glenn Phillips’ stumps.
No. 5 Mark Chapman then collided with Finn Allen only to be run out, leaving New Zealand behind the DLS with the conditions turning cloudy rather fast at 49 for 5.
Experienced pair step up
The Chapman run-out appeared to be the unravelling of New Zealand, but Bangladesh captain Najmul Hassan Shanto’s part-time offspin in the tenth over offered a release. Neesham smacked Shanto for six and four off consecutive balls to ease the pressure, and then knocked it around once New Zealand were ahead on DLS.
Neesham then hammered legspinner Rishad Hossain for a six in the 14th over, and the flow of runs allowed Santner to play low-risk cricket shots alongside him. Together they batted for 6.1 overs before rain played spoilsport, with Neesham unbeaten on 28 and Santner on 18, both off 20 deliveries apiece.
Before their partnership, though, the other opener Allen found some semblance of form with his 30-ball 38 that ended a string of low scores. He clubbed four fours and two sixes that gave the hosts the early momentum. He punished left-arm spinner Tanvir Islam heavily in the first over that went for 12 runs, and then hit Shoriful for two fours over mid-on in the fourth.
Even though he slowed down after the powerplay and was eventually dismissed by Shoriful in the ninth over, had it not been for his innings up top, the Neesham-Santner stand could have ended on the losing side.
Santner squeezes Bangladesh
No team had ever won chasing in Mount Maunganui, but Santner chose to do that at the toss with one eye on the weather. It looked like the right call with Tim Southee, Ben Sears and Adam Milne taking a wicket each in the powerplay to leave Bangladesh at 45 for 3. The trend continued after that as well, with Bangladesh’s batters looking like getting starts but falling soon after. Five batters in the top eight reached double digits but the highest innings score was Shanto’s 17.
The main reason for Bangladesh’s middle-overs collapse was Santner’s spell. He kept it tidy just outside off and Towhid Hridoy and Mahedi found the edge to the wicketkeeper. Afif Hossain was deceived by a length ball that hit his glove and popped up, while Shamim Hossain was caught at short fine leg sweeping.
That left Bangladesh at 81 for 7, and Santner brought the pacers back. The trio cleaned up the tail to finish with two wickets apiece, ending the Bangladesh innings at 110 in the 20th over.
” Our bowlers did a great job, but batsmen didn’t get the runs today,” Shanto said after the game. “Our batsmen got starts like 15-17 but didn’t go deep, that was our mistake.”
“The seamers were brilliant in the powerplay,” Santner said. “The pacers used the wind and bowled really well. The bowlers did the job upfront.”
Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @sreshthx