Table toppers New Zealand clinch series victory as Bangladesh add life to a dead rubber final game, and the hosts end up sans a victory.
As New Zealand’s big names were away from national duty playing in the IPL, the Kiwis arrived with a second team led by stand-in captain Tom Latham. It gave away a big opportunity to the uncapped bowling allrounders Seth Rance and Scott Kuggelejin, rookie middle order batsman George Worker, and the comeback man Hamish Bennett. Bangladesh came into the contest with their strongest side eyeing a jump up in the ranking list prior to the ICC Champions Trophy. Ireland, the home team, were already at a low after facing a couple of series defeats against Afghanistan and England.
The series started off, on the 12th of May, with rain washing out the first clash between Ireland and Bangladesh after 31.1 overs of play wherein Bangladesh managed to score 157/4. Peter Chase’s three were rendered futile and the two teams had to split points. That might have been Ireland’s only chance to win a match in the Tri-Nation Series the cynosures of which are listed below:
Niall O’Brien’s maiden ton, Santner’s maiden five-wicket haul and three debuts
Three allrounders made their debut in the 2nd match of the series, between Ireland and New Zealand. Ireland found their replacement for off-spinner Andy McBrine in Simi Singh, who impressed coach John Bracewell with his domestic performance. He played two matches in the triangular series, both games against New Zealand, scoring just 9 runs and ending up wicket-less. Right-arm medium pacer Seth Rance managed to bag just one wicket in two games. The only decent show among the debutantes came from Scott Kuggelejin who picked up 5 wickets at an average of 11.60, playing both matches against Ireland.
Neil Broom took charge of New Zealand’s middle order with a 63-ball 79, along with Taylor and Worker scoring half centuries. Ireland were asked to chase a target of 290, and while going for it, they hardly seemed the minnow team they’re considered to be. Wicketkeeper Niall O’Brien went on to score his maiden ODI ton in his 85th match, by hitting a SIX when on 98! Ireland looked strong until Mitchell Santner took the last four of his 5 scalps and they lost all 10 for 238. He was adjudged the man of the match for his career-best figures of 5 for 50.
The edges of a Captain’s responsibility shapes up a more polished Latham;
The Blackcaps unleash prodigies returning from the IPL in the 5th game, vs Ireland
Nascent skipper Tom Latham looked out of touch in his batting, also his far from attacking captaincy raised questions on his ability, but not for long. New Zealand won 3 matches back to back, the 2nd of which was against Bangladesh on 17th May. Latham’s 54 and Jimmy Neesham’s brilliant performance with bat and ball were the key. The match also witnessed the comeback of the long-forgotten fast bowler Hamish Bennett wherein he finished with decent figures of 3 for 31. He had played his last international series in 2014 when India had toured New Zealand.
The 5th match of the series marked the return of a kiwi fringe- Corey Anderson, Adam Milne and Matt Henry- from the IPL. Latham looked more confident than ever and scored his maiden ODI ton as captain. Henry bagged 3 scalps as the Blackcaps sealed victory by a huge margin of 190. Latham went on to score 84 in the next match against Bangladesh but in a losing cause. However, he was awarded the Man of the series for scoring 257 runs at 64.25 batting average. Neil Broom finished second on the list with 228 runs.
Mahmudullah’s pants slipped but Bangladesh took an upturn in the final game, vs New Zealand
The 6th and the final game between New Zealand and Bangladesh, of the triangular series, was held on 24th May. Having won 3 out of 3 prior to the final match, the Blackcaps already had the series to their name. The smile on Latham’s smiling face, in the above picture, even after losing the toss only makes it apparent. Bangladesh though came forward as ambitious and took the game away from New Zealand, thus breaking Latham’s ephemeral undefeated run as captain. Despite Latham and Broom scoring half centuries, New Zealand lost 5 wickets for 50 runs down the order. Meanwhile, in order to save a boundary, off Henry’s bat, third man Mahmudullah dived and his pants slipped down. The moment reminded us all of a similar incident related to New Zealand’s Lou Vincent [Video ]. Rosco, the sobriquet of Ross Taylor, added an unbeaten 60 off 56 which aided New Zealand in putting forth a target of 271 for Mortaza’s men. Tamim Iqbal and Sabbir Rahman gave a steady start scoring 65 each.
The chances were still 50-50 but Mahumudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim’s swift and undefeated 6th wicket partnership of 72 helped Bangladesh beat the Kiwis by 5 wickets. Thus giving Bangladesh their first ever victory over New Zealand in matches played away from home. It was the 17th instance of the two teams playing each other away from Bangladesh, 30th overall. Bangladesh, the last team to qualify for this year’s Champions Trophy edition, also found their much-needed momentum for the same in this victory. The two teams are a part of Group A alongside Australia and England.
As scheduled for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 ( for NZ & Bangladesh):
Warm-up matches: Bangladesh vs Pakistan, 27th May.
India vs New Zealand, 28th May.
New Zealand vs Sri Lanka, 30th May.
India vs Bangladesh, 30th May.
Group Stage matches: England vs Bangladesh, 1st June.
Australia vs New Zealand, 2nd June.
Australia vs Bangladesh, 5th June.
England vs New Zealand, 6th June.
New Zealand vs Bangladesh, 9th June.
[All matches begin at 9:30 (GMT) | 15:00(IST) ]