New Zealand 248 for 2 (Conway 89*, Williamson 78, Mustafizur 1-36) Bangladesh 245 for 9 (Mushfiqur 66, Shakib 41*, Ferguson 3-49) for eight
Ken Williamson He started international cricket again The Kane Williamson thing, a precise 78 runs against Bangladesh. He kept New Zealand close to an eight-wicket victory, but was unable to chase down as he retired injured in the 39th over. Daryl Mitchell New Zealand returned home with 43 balls to spare, sealing the start of the team’s dominance in this World Cup.
Williamson missed seven months of competitive cricket after suffering a right knee injury during last season’s IPL and at that time his World Cup return was considered unlikely. Even when he was named in the New Zealand team as their captain, he was expected to miss the early stages of the competition. But he didn’t return sooner than expected, with Williamson showing a slight drop in quality as he went through the gears against Bangladesh.
Williamson hit ten fours and a six in his 108-ball 78, eventually leaving with Cramp. More than his innings, Williamson’s biggest contribution was adding two big doubles. First he scored 82 runs for the second wicket Devon Conway New Zealand after losing wickets early on. Then he added 108 runs for the third wicket with Mitchell. This made the chase easier for New Zealand as they won with plenty to spare.
At the start of New Zealand’s chase of 246, Bangladesh gave their fans some hope when Mustafizur Rahman, who opened for the first time in ODIs, removed high-flying Rachin Ravindra in the third over. Mustafizur created a second chance shortly after when Conway, batting for 4, moved away from his body, only for Mehdi Hasan Miraj to drop the chance at point. It was a tough diving chance, but a sticking one could have charged Bangladesh.
Immediately after the recovery, Conway got free with two fours off Shariful Islam. Williamson then turned to Shariful, cracking him through point and cover in the 10th over. Then, it was Taskin who hit two boundaries in the 13th over, before dropping Williamson to short midwicket when the New Zealand captain was on 27.
Shakib broke the second wicket stand by trapping Conway LBW on 45 off 59 balls. Conway’s reverse sweep attempt goes awry as he misses the shot, hitting his back leg. Conway’s wicket, however, did not help Bangladesh much as the next batsman, Mitchell, immediately picked up the pace.
He opened his account with a six off Shakib, before Williamson picked up the opposite number over long-on for his first six. Williamson continued to find the odd boundary for the next ten overs, hitting Shakib and Mehdi for four more boundaries, before returning to action with a stinging pull from Mitchell Taskin, two straight sixes off Shakib and Taskin.
Even after Williamson closed his innings in the 39th over, Mitchell followed Bangladesh’s bowling till the chase in the 43rd over. Mitchell scored an unbeaten 67-ball 89 with six fours and four sixes.
Earlier, when Williamson led Bangladesh to bat first, it took little time for them to fall into their familiar top-order slide. Lytton took the first ball of the innings, from Trent Boult, to Matt Henry at fine-leg. It was a well-timed shot after coming down the track but he tried it at a difficult angle with the bat. Liton is only the second Bangladeshi opener to fall on the first ball of a World Cup match, the previous being Hannan Sarkar against Sri Lanka’s Chaminda Bhas in 2003.
Tanjid produced four boundaries in a quick recovery partnership with Hasan Mehdi, but the left-hander fell for 16 again. It was a quiet outing when Tanjid clipped a ball to short square-leg in the eighth over.
Mehdi pulled Lockie Ferguson to fine-leg for 30 after a third soft out in the 12th over. He had three excellent cover drives in his 46 balls but once again, Bangladesh sent him into batting positions that usually take a while. Time to get used to it.
In the next over, New Zealand reduced Bangladesh to 56 for 4 when part-timer Glenn Phillips hit Nazmul Hossain Shanto at midwicket. Bangladesh regrouped through their most experienced pair, though Conway took a scrambling catch.
Shakib and Mushfiqur added 96 runs almost at the same time to leave the New Zealand team behind. Mushfiqur wasted little time hitting Phillips with his favorite slog sweep for a six. After two more fours from Mushfiqur, Shakib Henry pulls Mitchell Santner for a straight four. Mushfiqur hits Ferguson for his second six, over third man, as Bangladesh look to recover.
Shakib collapsed shortly after Mushfiqur reached his fifty. After receiving some treatment, the Bangladesh skipper took off his helmet as he hit Ravindra for a straight four and a six over midwicket. He added another six off Ferguson but was out on the very next ball, again trying to slog the fast bowler.
Mushfiqur followed shortly after, though Henry’s delivery that bowled him was really low. It was still a brave knock as he was tasked with reviving Bangladesh’s innings.
Tohbid Hriday, now batting out of the No.7 position, couldn’t kick so it was left to Mahmudullah, batting at No.8 for the first time in 13 years, to ensure a decent finish. He ensured Bangladesh batted 50 overs, remaining unbeaten on 41 himself, but it was still a sub-par team score.