Litton Das carries his bat, Bangladesh beat New Zealand by 5 wickets in 1st T20I | Cricket


Litton Das carried his bat for 42 to steer Bangladesh to a five-wicket win in the opening T20 International on Wednesday as it rolled New Zealand out cheaply at McLean Park for the second time in four days.

Bangladesh's Litton Das (L) and teammate Mahedi Hasan walk from the field after their team's victory in the first T20 vs New Zealand(AFP)
Bangladesh’s Litton Das (L) and teammate Mahedi Hasan walk from the field after their team’s victory in the first T20 vs New Zealand(AFP)

On Saturday, Bangladesh bowled out New Zealand for 98 on the same pitch to set up a nine-wicket win in the third one-day international, its first limited-overs victory over the Black Caps on their home soil.

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Four days later, Bangladesh claimed three wickets with the first nine balls of the New Zealand innings and contained the home side to 134 for nine. The Black Caps were one for three after Shoriful Islam dismissed Finn Allen and Glenn Phillips with consecutive balls in the second over, and then 20 for four following the fall of Daryl Mitchell.

Jimmy Neesham made 48 and captain Mitchell Santner 23 as New Zealand staged a partial recovery.

Das led an unhurried run chase that saw Bangladesh reach its target with eight balls to spare. The opener was given out lbw to Tim Southee when he was 22 but had the decision reversed under review and stayed on to steady the innings later.

He needed medical treatment for a leg injury at the start of the 18th over when he was 29 and Bangladesh needed 24 from 18 balls. On 33, and with 20 needed from 16 balls, his lofted shot found Ish Sodhi at fine-leg but the fielder stepped over the boundary line in completing a simple catch, giving Das another reprieve.

Clearly impeded while running between the wickets, Das was able to look on from the non-striker’s end as Mahedi Hasan (19 not out) finished the chase with a six and a four off Adam Milne in the 19th over.

Earlier, Bangladesh captain Najmul Hossain Shanto entrusted the first over to off-spinner Mahedi and the decision paid off when he bowled Tim Seifert with the fourth ball.

“In these conditions, spin bowling is hard, but I was able to get my execution right,” said Mahedi who was Player of the Match for his all-round performance.

“I hit the right areas in the power play and was able to do a good job for my team. When I bowl well, then I am able to bat confidently and finish the job for my team.”

Seifert went back to a delivery from Mahedi that he tried to dab wide of slip. But, the ball kept low, skipped on and hit his middle stump.

Shoriful then followed up his effort in the third one-dayer, where he took three wickets, with a double strike in the second over. Allen threw his hands, without moving his feet, to a ball going across him and was caught at slip.

Next ball Phillips offered no shot to a delivery that struck him on the knee roll in front of the middle. New Zealand called for a review, but Phillips had begun to walk off the field before the decision was made.

When Mitchell was bowled by Mahedi, New Zealand was in desperate trouble. Neesham lifted the Black Caps with his 48 from 29 balls, which included four fours and three sixes. But, he was out just when the innings seemed to be gaining momentum, at 110 for seven in the 17th over.

Shanto (19), Soumya Sarkar (22) and Towhid Hridoy (19) made valuable contributions for Bangladesh but Das held the innings together when it seemed it might falter. Afif Hossain fell to Southee in the 15th over when the visitors were 97 for five and Das had his successful review later in the same over, a turning point in the match.

Had Das fallen, Bangladesh might have struggled, but he survived to the finish.

Southee took one for 16 from his four overs.

The second game in the three-match series is at Mount Maunganui on Friday.

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