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Wounded Bangladesh Play for Pride in Final New Zealand ODI

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: February 19, 2019, 6:10 PM IST
Wounded Bangladesh Play for Pride in Final New Zealand ODI

Martin Guptill

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Bangladesh came into the three-match One-Day International (ODI) series with plenty of hope but will be playing only for pride in the final match of the series at the University Oval, Dunedin on Wednesday (February 20).

Hopes were high that the Tigers could perhaps win a maiden ODI series in New Zealand after India had handed the Kiwis a 4-1 drubbing earlier this month but Bangladesh were thoroughly outplayed in the first two matches, thus handing the series to the home team.

The visiting batsmen – particularly openers Liton Das and Tamim Iqbal – have struggled against the moving ball and have been unable to lay any sort of platform for the middle order to build on.

By contrast, New Zealand’s top order – particularly Martin Guptill, who’s scored centuries in both opening games – have looked steady and played a key part in them winning both games by 8 wickets.

Tamim refused to blame the pitches ahead of the final ODI, saying that the wickets on offer were actually good for batting and that the early dismissals were down more to the batsmen than the bowlers.

"To be honest, the wickets were very good, especially in the first match. We knew that their two opening bowlers start very well and we gave away four wickets.

"The wicket was good in the second game as well but they had some help due to the weather and conditions at that time following the rain."

The last time Bangladesh toured New Zealand they suffered a 3-0 whitewash in the ODI series and that is a fate they will hope to avoid this time around.

To do so, however, their batting department will need to put in a much better performance than they did in the first two matches.

Mohammad Mithun has notched half-centuries for the visitors in both games but no one has been able to stay in for the long haul, something Tamim admitted needed to change.

To make matters worse, Mithun is dealing with a hamstring injury whereas another key batsman and wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim is currently nursing a rib-cage injury.

"Whoever comes in, needs to bat long. To be honest I will only hope that we don't give away the game in the opening 10 overs, because if you lose a couple of wickets it gets difficult to make a comeback.

"I think we did that in the opening two games and paid the price, and we hope not to make those mistakes in the next game."

New Zealand will be without the services of skipper Kane Williamson for the final ODI as he has been rested, meaning Tom Latham will lead the side.

The home team have looked generally untroubled by the visitors and will hope to clean sweep the Bangladeshis once again, giving them some much-needed momentum ahead of the 2019 World Cup.

New Zealand were made to look ordinary by Virat Kohli’s Indian team but a dominant showing in what will be their last bilateral assignment before the showpiece tournament will do the 2015 finalists a world of good.
First Published: February 19, 2019, 12:01 PM IST
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