Bangladesh blunders gift New Zealand ODI series win

CHRISTCHURCH: New Zealand’s Tom Latham (right) is congratulated by teammate Daryl Mitchell after scoring a century during the second one-day international (ODI) cricket match between New Zealand and Bangladesh at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch yesterday. – AFP

CHRISTCHURCH: New Zealand secured a series-clinching five-wicket win in the second one-day international against Bangladesh yesterday after a string of fielding errors dashed the tourists’ hopes of victory. Black Caps skipper Tom Latham scored an unbeaten 110 after being dropped twice with New Zealand chasing 272 at Christchurch’s Hagley Oval.

New Zealand batsman Jimmy Neesham was also given a life, with the errors undoing Bangladesh’s good work in making 271 for six after losing the toss and being put into bat. Bangladesh captain Tamim Iqbal was left frustrated after seeing his side come close to a maiden victory on New Zealand soil.

“We should have won this game. We created chances but we just couldn’t hold on to those dropped catches,” he said. “We hardly ever win games but in this kind of situation we have to make sure that we do everything 100 percent. I’m disappointed.” Tamim top-scored for the tourists with 78 and Mohammad Mithun contributed an unbeaten 73 off 57 balls. Latham’s 110 came off 108 balls and was his fifth ODI century, while Devon Conway’s 72 helped anchor the innings.

The Black Caps reached the target after 48.2 overs, finishing on 275 for five to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match ODI series. Tamim had demanded a better performance from his players after they were skittled for 131 in the opening match and slumped to an eight-wicket defeat. Signs did not look promising when opener Liton Das departed for a duck in the second over. But Tamim and Soumya Sarkar preserved their wickets, grinding out an 81-run partnership at an agonizingly slow run rate to lay the foundation for a big finish.

Soumya was stumped on 32 trying to lift the run rate as Tamim brought up his 50th ODI half-century off 84 balls after surviving two umpiring reviews. His luck ran out trying to pinch a quick single, when Neesham showed impressive soccer skills to kick the ball into the stumps side-on and dislodge the bails. Entering the final 10 overs at 183 for three, Bangladesh finally stepped on the gas through Mithun’s career-best ODI knock. New Zealand began briskly in reply despite the early loss of opener Martin Guptill for 20.

A double strike from spinner Mahedi Hasan applied the brakes to the run rate, forcing Conway and Latham to rebuild. Conway’s departure in the 34th over with New Zealand at 166 for four gave Bangladesh a chance to put the hosts under pressure. The bowlers obliged but errors in the field meant chances went begging and momentum shifted back to New Zealand. – AFP

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