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Hossain finished with a hat-trick and a career-best six wickets
Bangladesh pace bowler Rubel Hossain took a brilliant hat-trick against New Zealand to help his side draw first blood in a rain-affected ODI in Mirpur.
Hossain, who picked up a career-best six wickets, became the third Bangladeshi bowler to take a hat-trick after Abdur Razzak and Shahadat Hossain.
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum won the toss and chose to bowl first since there was a lot of dew on the pitch.
His decision paid off right away as Bangladesh lost opening batsman Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque and Mominul Haque in quick succession.
With Bangladesh struggling at 25/3, skipper Mushfiqur Rahim and Naeem Islam came to the rescue with a magnificent 154-run partnership, during which both batsmen brought up their half-centuries before Rahim was caught behind off the bowling of James Neesham for 90.
Rahim’s spectacular knock of 90 came off 98 balls and included eight boundaries and two sixes.
Despite the loss of Rahim, Islam continued to pile on the runs as he and Mahmudullah recorded a 51-run partnership before Islam lost his concentration and was caught behind off the bowling of Tim Southee for 84.
Islam’s sparkling innings of 84 came off 115 deliveries and included 12 boundaries.
Following Islam’s dismissal, Bangladesh’s lower order collapsed and they were eventually bowled out for 265.
Neesham was the pick of the New Zealand bowlers with four wickets, while Southee snapped up three and Corey Anderson chipped in with two.
Chasing 266 to win initially, New Zealand got off to a rough start as opening batsman Hamish Rutherford was clean bowled by Sohag Gazi for just one run.
Debutant Anton Devcich managed to score 22 runs before he was cleaned up by Mahmudullah.
Ross Taylor failed to make much of a contribution either as he was caught behind off the bowling of Hossain for only eight runs.
Following Taylor’s wicket, the heavens parted and after a long delay, the match was cut down to 33 overs and New Zealand needed 206 runs to win the match and go 1-0 up in the series.
However, their hopes of reaching the target were dashed in the 24th over when Hossain produced his moment of magic and removed Anderson, McCullum and Neesham in successive deliveries to take New Zealand from 121/3 to 121/6.
While Hossain continued to rip through New Zealand’s lower order batsmen, Grant Elliott put up a valiant fight as he scored 71 off 77 balls, which included six boundaries and two maximums, before he became one of Hossain’s victims.
Bangladesh were declared the winners when New Zealand were on 162/9 as Kane Williamson was unable to bat due to a thumb injury he sustained while fielding.
Hossain was the best of the best with six wickets, while Gazi, Razzak and Mahmudullah all chipped in with one wicket apiece.
McCullum was disappointed with his side’s performance, but praised Hossain for his outstanding hat-trick.
“We were in for a good game of cricket,” he said. “Bangladesh recovered well after being three down through a good partnership. Getting a hat-trick is an achievement. Rubel was outstanding. We have two games to go in the series and we need to win them to win the series. We allowed them, Rahim and Naeem, to get away and get that partnership going. Our middle order didn’t contribute today.”
Rahim lavished praise on Islam and Hossain, while also dedicating the match to Sheikh Salahuddin, who passed away today after suffering a heart attack.
“I thought the wicket was tricky and it wasn’t coming on to the bat,” he said. “All credit to Naeem who came in and performed straightaway. Rubel was amazing. I would like to dedicate the win to Sheikh Salahuddin and his family members.”
Hossain was named the Man of the Match for his career-best bowling figures of six wickets for 26 runs.