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New Zealand vs Bangladesh, 1st T20I Highlights 2023


Cricket  •  28 Dec, 2023  •  94,340 Views  •  ⭐ 4.5

Written by Anand Swami


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In an extraordinary display of skill and strategy, Bangladesh achieved their first Twenty20 International victory on New Zealand soil, defeating the hosts in the opening game of their three-match series in Napier. This victory, coming just days after Bangladesh’s maiden ODI win over the Black Caps at the same venue, marked a significant milestone. Bangladesh overcame the target with a score of 137 for 5, outclassing New Zealand's 134 for 9, thereby setting a new precedent in their cricketing saga.

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Bangladesh's Bowling Excellence

Shoriful Islam
Image Credits: India Posts English

The foundation of this remarkable victory was laid by Bangladesh's exceptional bowling. Shoriful Islam led the attack with a spectacular 3 for 26, including two wickets in the crucial second over, setting back New Zealand's top order early in the game. Mustafizur Rahman's mastery in variation was evident as he claimed 2 for 15 in four overs, displaying his ability to adapt to the pitch conditions. Their collective efforts, complemented by Mahedi Hasan's 2 for 14, restricted New Zealand to a below-par total, creating an advantageous position for Bangladesh right from the start.

Litton Das: The Steadfast Anchor

Litton Das
Image Credits: ESPNcricinfo

Litton Das emerged as the linchpin of Bangladesh's batting lineup, playing a measured and resilient innings. He remained unbeaten with a crucial 42 off 36 balls, showing great temperament and skill. Litton's ability to anchor the innings became evident as he navigated through the loss of early wickets, maintaining a steady run rate. His calm approach, coupled with strategic shot selection, played a pivotal role in guiding Bangladesh towards the finish line.

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Mahedi Hasan: The Dual Threat

Mahedi Hasan
Image Credits: X

Mahedi Hasan proved his worth as a valuable all-rounder in this match. His contributions were significant both with the ball and the bat. He initiated New Zealand's batting collapse, capturing vital wickets including that of Daryl Mitchell. With the bat, Mahedi provided the necessary support to Litton Das, particularly when Bangladesh seemed to be faltering. His unbeaten 19 off 16 balls, including the winning four, underscored his ability to perform under pressure.

New Zealand's Struggle with the Bat

Bangladesh and New Zealand
Image Credits: NDTV Sports

The New Zealand batting lineup faced a challenging ordeal against Bangladesh's bowling attack. Key batsmen like Tim Seifert and Finn Allen fell early, causing a ripple effect through the lineup. James Neesham's fighting knock of 48 and Mitchell Santner's supportive 23 were the only substantial contributions, but they were not enough to set a formidable total. The consistent loss of wickets and inability to build partnerships led to New Zealand finishing at a modest 134 for 9.

The Tense Chase by Bangladesh

Bangladesh Team
Image Credits: CricHighlightsVidz

The pursuit of 135 by Bangladesh was met with formidable resistance from New Zealand’s bowlers. The early loss of Rony Talukdar and Najmul Hossain Shanto added pressure, but the middle order, especially Soumya Sarkar's brisk 22, kept the momentum alive. The chase saw moments of uncertainty, particularly when Bangladesh lost quick wickets, threatening to derail their progress. However, the resilience of Litton Das, combined with strategic partnerships, especially the one with Towhid Hridoy, helped keep Bangladesh on course.

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Litton and Mahedi's Partnership Turns the Tide

Litton Das and Mahedi Hasan
Image Credits: Cricliving

The game witnessed a significant shift when Litton Das, then on 22 off 28 balls, decided to up the ante. His aggressive approach, including a boundary off Adam Milne and a series of runs off Ben Sears, changed the complexion of the match. Mahedi Hasan's aggressive batting in the later overs, highlighted by a commanding six and a clever four, effectively sealed the victory. This partnership not only stabilized the innings but also ensured a steady flow of runs, culminating in Bangladesh reaching their target with five wickets in hand.

New Zealand's Spirited Bowling Effort

New Zealand Team
Image Credits: ESPNcricinfo

Despite a modest total to defend, New Zealand's bowlers put up a spirited fight. Adam Milne's pace and Tim Southee's experience were pivotal in keeping the game competitive. Milne's dismissal of Rony Talukdar and Southee's removal of Afif Hossain showed their ability to create chances and maintain pressure on the Bangladesh batsmen. Their efforts, particularly in the middle overs, momentarily swung the momentum in New Zealand's favour, showcasing the depth and resilience of their bowling attack.

Conclusion

This win in Napier is not just a triumph in a cricket match for Bangladesh; it is a symbol of their growing prowess and stature in international cricket. Achieving their first T20I win against New Zealand on New Zealand soil, Bangladesh displayed a combination of disciplined bowling, resilient batting, and strategic gameplay. As the series moves to Mount Maunganui, this victory sets a confident tone for Bangladesh, while New Zealand looks to recalibrate and come back stronger in the remaining matches.

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