Bangladesh maul sorry New Zealand
Friday, 10 October 2008

Bangladesh celebrate the dismissal of Daniel Flynn, Bangladesh v New Zealand, 1st ODI, Mirpur, October 9, 20081st ODI, Mirpur

Sports Correspondent

A determined Bangladesh recorded a historic triumph over New Zealand with a seven-wicket victory, their first ever over the world's No. 4 side. The loss was a huge blow for New Zealand, who were eyeing a clean sweep to take second spot on the rankings. Junaid Siddique, along with Mohammad Ashraful, made sure Bangladesh capitalised on the momentum given by Mashrafe Mortaza' bowling which helped restrict New Zealand to a modest target.
 
It was a significant victory for the hosts who were forced to field a fresh line-up after the ICL exodus. But the challenge, under very difficult circumstances, seemed to have emboldened Ashraful and his men who played safe with both bat and ball.
 
Junaid remained calm despite the early fall of Tamim Iqbal, the other opener, in the fifth over. Even if Bangladesh's run-rate was similar to New Zealand's after 15 overs (New Zealand were 62 while Bangladesh were 55) the hosts had more wickets in hand, losing just one wicket compared to New Zealand's four. Runs came mostly in singles, with the occasional boundary. Junaid also found good support from Mushfiqur Rahim, who brought up the team's 50 with a six off Tim Southee over long-on. Mushfiqur scored a useful 30 before going for another big hit, this time failing to clear deep midwicket.
 
During the New Zealand tour earlier this year, Junaid had failed to consistently get off to good starts, but today he showed he'd learned from past mistakes. On the way, he got lucky too, when on 46, Scott Styris failed to collect a return catch. He went on to finish his half-century with a single and grew in confidence especially in the company of his captain. In the process he scored more runs than he had in his career: before this match he had a tally of 62 in the eight previous games.
 
Ashraful had been condemned for both his leadership and below-par batting form recently in Australia. Today he displayed a grim attitude and bolstered the good start provided by his young partner. When Daniel Vettori brought himself on in the third Powerplay, taken by Bangladesh in the 39th over, Ashraful immediately pulled him for a four past square leg and then stepped out for a six over long-on. Bangladesh had reached the 100-mark after 28 overs. Ten overs later, they had piled 60 more runs. The 109-run partnership was the highest of the day and overshadowed Jacob Oram's hard labour in the morning.
 
Oram had taken New Zealand to safety after they found themselves in a dangerous position at 79 for 6. Though he took a while to adapt to the low bounce and slow pace of the wicket, he managed to regain the lost momentum steadily. He found help from Vettori and their partnership of 70 for the seventh wicket rescued New Zealand.
 
For Bangladesh, Mortaza led from the front, pitching it accurately and taking advantage of the early movement after Ashraful had opted to field. Taking advantage of the opposition batsmen's rustiness, since their only warm-up game was washed out, Mortaza hardly gave the batsmen any room in his unbroken spell of eight overs which fetched him three wickets.
 
New Zealand failed to benefit from any of the fielding restrictions. The new Powerplay rule came into action for the first time but it didn't seem to have the desired impact for New Zealand, who managed 55 in the first and then slumped in the second when they lost three wickets for seven runs. The final Powerplay, to be decided by the batting side, was taken in the 38th over but only 26 runs resulted off that.
 
Bangladesh had beaten New Zealand in the warm-up game during the 2007 World Cup after which they recorded their best showing in the shorter version with four victories in the tournament. Today's win could be a harbinger for a new chapter once again.                         

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