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ICC World Cup 2019 | Taylor & Henry Star as New Zealand Survive Scare Against Bangladesh

New Zealand huffed and puffed and stumbled multiple times on the way but eventually managed to get past Bangladesh by two wickets in Cardiff to register their second win in as many games on Wednesday (June 5).

Cricketnext Staff |June 6, 2019, 9:26 AM IST
ICC World Cup 2019 | Taylor & Henry Star as New Zealand Survive Scare Against Bangladesh

New Zealand huffed and puffed and stumbled multiple times on the way but eventually managed to get past Bangladesh by two wickets in Cardiff to register their second win in as many games on Wednesday (June 5).

Chasing 245 for a win, it was all one-way traffic till about the 31st over with the New Zealand scoreboard reading 160/2 and Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson having added over 100 runs. But Bangladesh made a spirited comeback picking wickets at regular intervals to have the Blackcaps down to 218/7. It ultimately needed a calm Mitchell Santner and crucial lower order runs to get New Zealand home in 47.1 overs.

New Zealand's chase got off to the best possible start with Martin Guptill thumping Mashrafe Mortaza for a four the very first ball through midwicket. He then went one better against Mehedi Hasan welcoming him to the bowling crease with a massive six over long on.

However, before he could do any further damage Shakib Al Hasan got rid of Guptill with a well-flighted delivery. The opener, who was in the mood for a shot-a-ball was beaten in the air and ended up toe-ending a length delivery straight into the hands of Tamim Iqbal at long on for 25 (14b). Colin Munro struck three fours and a six during his 24 before he too fell to Shakib with Mehedi taking a good low catch at the deep midwicket fence.

Bangladesh should have removed Kane Williamson eight balls later but a brain fade from Mushfiqur Rahim handed the New Zealand captain a huge reprieve. Ross Taylor punched a fullish length delivery from Shakib straight to mid-on and set off for a run. Williamson meanwhile was ball watching and had no clue that Taylor was already halfway down the pitch. With nowhere to go, Williamson decided to sacrifice his wicket and should have been run out by the proverbial mile. But, Rahim came charging down to collect the throw and in doing so dislodged the bails with his elbow. Why this was even more bizarre was that the throw was heading directly towards the stumps and Rahim shouldn't have even gone anywhere close to the ball.

Handed a life, both Williamson and Taylor settled down and decided to dig deep. The calling between the two remained tricky but the shot-making made up for it. Taylor was the aggressor as he found the boundary ropes quite frequently and soon raised a half-century with an exquisite cut to the deep point fence.

Williamson wasn't his fluent self and hit just one four in his 40 but made sure he stuck it out. With the two going great guns it seemed New Zealand would cruise the chase with plenty to spare but Williamson's wicket in 32nd over gave Bangladesh an opening.

He fell mistiming Mehedi to Mosaddek at cow corner and four balls later Tom Latham too departed hitting a long hop to deep midwicket where Saifuddin plucked out a stellar catch diving forward. Soon after Taylor was dismissed as well strangled down leg for 82 with the scoreboard reading 191/5.

De Grandhomme and Neesham added crucial 27 runs for the sixth but both fell within the space of five balls. Matt Henry was then bowled with the Kiwis needing seven runs to cross the line but Santner smashed Mustafizur Rahman through mid-off to seal a crucial win.

Earlier, sent into bat, the Bangladesh openers, Soumya Sarkar and Tamim got their side off to a good start stitching a 45-run stand inside nine overs. Both batsmen looked fluent in their stroke play matching shot for shot and keeping the runs flowing.

Tamim got Bangladesh's boundary counter running with an elegant flick off Henry down to fine leg while Sarkar too got going lofting the very bowler straight over his head for a four. Sarkar struck two more crisp fours off Henry but the bowler ultimately had the last laugh as he cleaned the southpaw with a full and straight length delivery for a run-a-ball 45. Lockie Ferguson then got the prized scalp of Tamim (24) with a nasty bumper that caught the batsman by surprise.

Rahim and Shakib, who had crafted a record-breaking stand in Bangladesh's first game of the campaign carried on with their good form resurrecting the innings with a 50-run partnership. While Rahim got going with a couple of fours against de Grandhomme, Shakib took a liking to Neesham slamming him for three back to back fours.

Just when it seemed the duo will take Bangladesh to safer shores, a terrible mix-up brought about Rahim's downfall. The wicket-keeper batsman pushed one wide of covers and set off for a run. Shakib though for some reason stayed put and Rahim was found well short of his crease for 19.

Shakib carried on unperturbed and soon notched up a well-composed half-century as Bangladesh crossed the 150-run mark in good time. But the left-hander fell at a crucial juncture and his wicket put the wind out of Bangladesh's sails. Having smashed de Grandhomme all over the park, Shakib (64) got a bit greedy and looking to cut a delivery not short enough edged behind to Latham.

The New Zealand bowlers found an opening post Shakib's wicket. Williamson soon brought back his pace trio of Trent Boult, Ferguson and Henry back into the attack and kept rotating them effectively.

Henry sent back Mohammad Mithun for 26 while Santner got rid of Mahmudullah. Boult then picked two wickets in quick succession which also saw him become the second-fastest bowler in the history of ODIs to complete 150 wickets. Henry then wrapped up the tail in consecutive deliveries to bowl Bangladesh out with four balls to spare.

For New Zealand, Henry was the pick of the bowlers returning 4/47 off his 9.2 overs while Boult chipped in with two wickets.

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