Image courtesy of: Zimbio
New Zealand all-rounder James Neesham smashed a quickfire 52 and took two wickets to lead his side to a four-wicket win over Bangladesh in Dublin.
New Zealand stand-in captain Tom Latham would have been brooding over his decision to bowl first after Bangladesh openers Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar amassed a 72-run partnership, the majority of which was dominated by Sarkar.
But, just as everything seemed to be going Bangladesh’s way, Neesham dismissed Iqbal for 23 before Mitchell Santner clean bowled Sabbir Rahman for one run.
Sarkar went on to make 61 off 67 balls, which included five boundaries, before he was removed by Ish Sodhi.
Shakib Al Hasan failed to have an impact with the bat, but the same could not be said about wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim as he made 55 off 66 balls, which included four boundaries and a six.
Mahmudullah and Mosaddek Hossain steadied the innings for Bangladesh with a 61-run partnership, during which Mahmudullah brought up his fifty.
However, he was unable to make the most of it as he was sent packing by Hamish Bennett for 51 off 56 deliveries, which included six boundaries.
Bennett subsequently proceeded to take out Mosaddek, who made 41, and Mehedi Hasan Miraz off consecutive deliveries, while wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi ran out captain Mashrafe Mortaza for one run.
With a flurry of wickets falling at the end of their innings, Bangladesh finished on 257/9 off their 50 overs.
Bennett was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Neesham and Sodhi snapped up two wickets apiece. Santner, meanwhile, chipped in with one.
Chasing 258 to win, New Zealand lost Ronchi early on as he was dismissed by Mustafizur Rahman for 27.
Just as the Black Caps were beginning to rebuild their innings, George Worker was run out by Sabbir for 17.
Latham managed to make 54 off 64 balls, which included three boundaries and a six, before he was caught behind off the bowling of Rubel Hossain.
Even though Ross Taylor fell shortly after for 25, Neil Broom and Neesham stabilised the innings with a crucial 80-run partnership before Broom was trapped lbw off the bowling of Rubel for 48.
Neesham went on to score 52 off 48 deliveries, which included five boundaries and a six, before falling to Mortaza.
Despite Neesham’s departure, New Zealand mopped up the remaining runs and reached their target with 15 balls to spare.
Mustafizur and Rubel took two wickets apiece, while Mortaza claimed one.
Neesham was named Man of the Match.