Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Munro helped New Zealand end their tour of Bangladesh on a high note
Coming off a humiliating 3-0 whitewash in the ODI series, Colin Munro’s fantastic knock of 73 helped New Zealand triumph over Bangladesh in the one-off Twenty20 International in Mirpur.
Munro was well supported by debutant Anton Devcich, who smashed a brilliant half-century, and pace bowler Tim Southee, who picked up three wickets.
New Zealand stand-in captain Kyle Mills won the toss and chose to bat first.
Mills’ decision worked in New Zealand’s favour as their opening pair of Devcich and Hamish Rutherford put together a 73-run partnership, during which Devcich brought up his maiden half-century, before Rutherford was caught out off the bowling of Sohag Gazi for 17.
Devcich was dismissed soon after as he too was caught out, but only off the bowling of Abdur Razzak for 59 off 31 balls, which included 10 boundaries and a six.
With New Zealand having lost two wickets in quick succession, Ross Taylor and Munro came to the rescue with a 93-run partnership, during which Munro registered his own half-century, before Taylor was removed by Ziaur Rahman for 28.
Munro finished unbeaten on 73 off just 39 deliveries, which included three boundaries and an incredible five maximums, as New Zealand reached 204 at the end of their 20 overs.
Debutant Al-Amin Hossain was the pick of the Bangladeshi bowlers with two wickets, while Gazi, Razzak and Rahman all chipped in with one wicket apiece.
Chasing a mammoth total of 205 to win, Bangladesh got off to a horrible start as opening batsman Shamsur Rahman was dismissed off the second ball of their innings.
Things went from bad to worse as Ziaur Rahman was clean bowled by Southee for six and Mominul Haque was caught out off the bowling of Mitchell McClenaghan for nine to leave Bangladesh struggling at 19/3.
Naeem Islam could only amass 18 runs before he was on his way back to the pavilion.
A 54-run partnership between Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim and Nasir Hossain stemmed the bleeding until Rahim was dismissed just after bringing up his half-century.
Rahim’s excellent innings of 50 came off 29 balls and included seven boundaries and a six.
Hossain was dismissed soon after for 28.
Gazi and Mahmudullah registered a 57-run partnership to give Bangladesh some hope of winning the match, but it was not to be as they fell short by 15 runs.
Mahmudullah was caught out off the bowling of Corey Anderson for 34, while Gazi was run out for 24.
Southee was the most successful New Zealand bowler with three wickets, while Anderson picked up two and McClenaghan, Mills and Nathan McCullum all snapped up one wicket each.
Rahim was disappointed to have lost the match after a successful ODI series.
“We gave 15-20 runs extra but at the end it was a difficult task and when you lose wickets it’s hard to score 10 runs per over,” he said. “We lost early wickets in the Powerplay and that slowed us down. New Zealand played really well and we didn’t bowl to our plans or execute well. Thanks to the crowd for supporting us and hopefully we’ll be back in January against Sri Lanka to play some more good cricket.”
Mills was ecstatic to have ended the tour on a high note.
“Tough couple of weeks, pleasing that we stepped up today especially the four-five young guys,” he said. “Great opportunity for us to stand up and happy we did. Vibrant crowds here and we’ve been privileged to play in front of these crowds.”
Munro was named Man of the Match for his spectacular knock.
“A tough tour for the boys, Millsy took over and said we need to go home with a win,” he said. “[The switch hit] comes from my hockey background, have worked on it for a couple of years and good to see I can score runs with it.”