New Zealand beat Bangladesh in World Cup thriller
Bangladesh pushed the Black Caps all the way.
New Zealand scraped a nervy World Cup win over Bangladesh as Ross Taylor marked his 400th international match with a crucial half-century.
Taylor, who reached the milestone across all formats, hit 82 off 91 balls and shared a superb 105-run partnership with Kane Williamson during a dramatic two-wicket success.
The Black Caps had looked on course for a comfortable second successive victory of the tournament after Matt Henry’s four-wicket haul helped bowl Bangladesh out for 244.
But the Tigers proved stubborn opposition and grew in confidence as they threatened an unlikely comeback before falling agonisingly short in the 48th over.
Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan proved his worth with bat and ball on his 200th one-day international appearance, producing a half-century and a couple of early wickets, while Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mosaddek Hossain and Mohammad Saifuddin also chipped in with two wickets apiece to keep the contest on a knife edge.
New Zealand benefited from significant slices of fortune at The Oval as captain Williamson, Taylor and James Neesham each survived serious run-out scares in the embryonic stages of their respective innings.
The two teams faced each other for the first time since Bangladesh’s tour of New Zealand in March was tragically cut short due to security concerns following the terrorist attack in Christchurch.
After restricting their opponents to a modest total, New Zealand appeared to be in a rush to get the job done as they took risks which resulted in a pair of cheap wickets and the first two run-out escapes.
Big-hitting openers Martin Guptill (25) and Colin Munro (24) were caught by Tamim Iqbal and Miraz respectively after failing to force boundaries off Shakib.
Williamson, who went on to make 40, was particularly fortunate after Bangladesh wicket keeper Mushfiqur Rahim clumsily caught the stumps with his knee before collecting the ball, which was bound for middle stump.
Partner Taylor scraped back into the crease by the smallest of margins just two overs later, and the pair certainly made the most of their reprieves.
Quick-fire wickets from Miraz to remove Williamson and Tom Latham for a duck in the 32nd over then threatened to shift the momentum of the match.
Taylor was finally gone when he got the faintest of touches to a Hossain delivery and was superbly caught behind by Rahim.
The dismissals of Colin De Grandhomme, Neesham, and Henry for the gain of just 20 runs contributed to New Zealand’s increasing anxiety, before Mitchell Santner’s unbeaten 17 finally secured a hard-fought win.
Bangladesh, who upset South Africa on Sunday, were put in to bat by Williamson as the Black Caps skipper looked for a repeat of Saturday’s ruthless dismantling of Sri Lanka.
Backed by a large, vocal contingent of supporters, the Tigers made a steady start before Henry halted the first-wicket partnership of Iqbal (24) and Soumya Sarkar at 45 by skittling the latter for 25.
Talisman Shakib shared a 50-run third-wicket partnership with Rahim but a miscommunication led to the latter being run out for 19 by a combination of Guptill and wicket keeper Latham.
Shakib’s fine innings, which included three successive fours off Neesham, was eventually ended on 64 from 68 balls as De Grandhomme induced an edge into the hands of Latham in the 31st over.
New Zealand continued to take wickets at regular intervals and prevented Bangladesh from building meaningful partnerships.
Henry, who brought Bangladesh’s innings to an end by removing captain Mashrafe Mortaza and the aggressive Saifuddin (29) with successive balls in the final over, also claimed the wicket of Mohammad Mithun for 26.
Trent Boult moved on to 150 ODI wickets by having Hossain and Miraz caught by Guptill and Latham respectively.