Bowling out New Zealand for just 60 and then reaching the target in 15 overs, Bangladesh looked in ominous form in their seven-wicket win in the first T20I. They continued where they had finished against Australia, having bowled them out for 62 in the fifth T20I, but it wasn’t just their spinners that did all the damage.
Mustafizur Rahman and Mohammad Saifuddin shared five wickets between them, and that ensured New Zealand couldn’t recover from their disastrous start of 9 for 4. Of course, Bangladesh’s three spinners were responsible for that, as they had combined figures of 5 for 30 from ten overs.
New Zealand have made worse starts in T20Is before, but this one was almost destined, as they played right into Bangladesh’s plans. Debutant Rachin Ravindra was left to rue his chip back to Mahedi Hasan in the first over, while Will Young and Tom Blundell should have been more protective of their stumps when going back to deliveries. Cole McConchie, another debutant, also got out to a soft shot to midwicket.
Colin de Grandhomme, Tom Latham and Henry Nicholls got out trying to play big shots. Latham was slightly unlucky against a wayward Saifuddin delivery while Nicholls misread a slower ball, and de Grandhomme had the right idea, but his slog sweep found the fielder at the long-leg boundary.
Bangladesh bowled accurately in between regular wickets, which was the main reason for New Zealand’s collapse. Mahedi gave them the perfect start, on which Shakib Al Hasan and Nasum Ahmed capitalised with three more wickets in the powerplay. When Rahman and Saifuddin kept the pressure up, it was quite evident that the visitors would have a hard time getting close to three figures.
The home side might, however, be slightly disappointed with how Mohammad Naim and Liton Das got out in a small chase. Naim has blown hot and blown cold against Zimbabwe and Australia, while Das is returning after a bit of a break. It could get better as the series rolls on. Again, their lessons lie in how Shakib, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah batted for the rest of the match, and got Bangladesh over the line with lots to spare.
The only thing that New Zealand may have taken from this game was how Ajaz Patel, McConchie and Ravindra bowled with the new ball. They took one wicket each, giving away 37 runs in 12 overs combined. The other good news for New Zealand is the return of Finn Allen to the squad, after he returned two negative Covid-19tests on Wednesday and Thursday.
Bangladesh WWLWW (last five completed matches, most recent first)
New Zealand LWWWW
In the spotlight
Mohammad Saifuddin has shown a knack of taking important wickets, like he did on Wednesday when he removed Latham and Nicholls, just when they looked like consolidating for long enough to give New Zealand some comfort. Saifuddin mixes his pace well, and isn’t too discreet about his ambitions to grab a regular spot in the Bangladesh line-up in both white-ball teams.
Before he hit a catch to fine-leg off Saifuddin, Tom Latham looked like the best equipped batter to tackle the Bangladesh bowlers on these pitches. He rotated the strike with confidence, and put Nicholls at ease at the other end too, despite the two getting together at the crease with the score at 9 for 4.
Bangladesh are unlikely to change their XI.
Bangladesh (probable): 1 Mohammad Naim, 2 Liton Das, 3 Shakib Al Hasan, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim, 5 Mahmudullah (capt), 6 Nurul Hasan (wk), 7 Afif Hossain, 8 Mahedi Hasan, 9 Mohammad Saifuddin, 10 Mustafizur Rahman, 11 Nasum Ahmed
Unless Allen is cleared to play on Friday, changes are also unlikely for New Zealand.
New Zealand (probable): 1 Rachin Ravindra, 2 Tom Blundell/Finn Allen, 3 Will Young, 4 Colin de Grandhomme, 5 Tom Latham (capt & wk), 6 Henry Nicholls, 7 Cole McConchie, 8 Doug Bracewell, 9 Ajaz Patel, 10 Blair Tickner, 11 Jacob Duffy
Pitch and conditions
Bangladesh will welcome another low, slow and turning pitch at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, although even the home batters might be a little annoyed with that. There’s rain forecast, so that could create an additional complexity.
Stats and trivia
- Shakib is now four wickets short of eclipsing Lasith Malinga’s 107 to become the highest wicket-taker in T20Is.
- McConchie is the second New Zealander to take a wicket with his first ball in men’s T20Is, after Lockie Ferguson.
- Bangladesh have bowled out sides for less than 100 in consecutive matches for the first time. They bowled out New Zealand for 60, the lowest total against them, after having bundled out Australia for 62 in their previous T20I in August.
“We will take lot of learnings from the first game. We will learn from it pretty quickly and aa dapt for the next one. (We had a discussion) about getting a clear idea of what we experienced on Wednesday, and what our plans are going forward. It is all about looking to the next one.”
New Zealand left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel on how the team reacted after their drubbing in the first game.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84