New Zealand 145 for 8 (Williamson 42, Mustafizur 5-22) beat Bangladesh 70 (Elliott 3-12, Sodhi 3-21) by 75 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
New Zealand completed the group stage of the World T20 with a clean slate, and in some style. Signature style too, as they adjusted themselves to a slow and low pitch. An example of that was how their total of 145 for 8 was more than double of what Bangladesh could manage.
Kane Williamson‘s crew were playing in their fourth venue, but looked right at home. They picked three spinners on a “very dry surface” and their batsmen were careful not to overreach. The way Colin Munro, essentially selected to slog, spent a majority of his innings without even trying to find the boundary was a clear indication of how well the New Zealand management have assisted the eleven men out on the field. His 35 off 33 balls helped navigate the middle overs after Williamson had led them to a strong start with 42 off 32 balls.
The eleven men under Mashrafe Mortaza though played like they were dying to catch the 30-minute flight from Kolkata back home to Dhaka. They did have the batting to threaten New Zealand and make sure Mustafizur Rahman‘s maiden T20I five-for was match-winning, but slow cutters from Grant Elliott and the legspin of Ish Sodhi bundled them out for 70 in 15.4 overs. It was Bangladesh’s lowest total in the format.
Tamim Iqbal’s run-out chasing an imaginary single in the second over was almost an omen of the events that would follow. They managed three fours in the fifth over – one off Sabbir Rahman’s straight bat, one off his pads and one when Mohammad Mithun waited nicely for a late cut. But such prudent shot selection was a rare sight among the Bangladesh batsmen.
Mithun went for a slog in the very next over and was bowled by a slower ball from Mitchell McClenaghan. Shakib Al Hasan went for the big shot too early in his innings and holed out at long-on. It was only the seventh ball he faced. In comparison, Munro, a man with far less experience, did not even look to strike a boundary until his 25th ball in the 14th over of the innings.
There were instances of brilliance that Bangladesh’s batsmen couldn’t have fought against. Luke Ronchi effected a fine stumping, weathering extra bounce, after a legspinner from Sodhi had beaten Soumya Sarkar’s sweep shot. Then came an unplayable ball. Grant Elliott bowled a simple little legcutter that whisked past Mustfiqur Rahim’s outside edge and hit his off-stump. Even the bowler was surprised by the amount of deviation he got.
After 11 minutes of respite when one of the light towers at the Eden Gardens malfunctioned, Mahmudullah fell to Sodhi’s googly to make it 48 for 7. After adding 12 runs with Shuvagata Hom, Mashrafe Mortaza was given leg-before to Elliott in the 15th over though all three of his stumps could be seen, and replays confirmed that it would have missed the leg stump.
Prior to that bit of bad luck during a bad batting collapse, Mustafizur and his bewildering offcutters had held sway. He became only the second Bangladeshi bowler to take a T20I five-for; the other being Elias Sunny who took 5 for 13 against Ireland in his T20I debut in 2012.
Williamson was coping well with a tired Kolkata pitch – it was the third game played on it – but Mustafizur outfoxed him. The batsman felt the need to do something extravagant – the lap sweep – to put the bowler off. The fact that 20-year old Mustafizur still bowled his cutter full and straight to knock over the off stump points to his composure.
New Zealand went through two periods, 20 balls (between overs 5.0 and 8.2) and 26 balls (between overs 8.4 and 13) without boundaries. Munro moved slowly to 17 off 24 balls, during which he survived a plumb lbw appeal against Shakib, before finally opening up. He hit a four and two sixes in seven balls before Al-Amin Hossain bowled him for 35 in the 15th over.
Taylor, who eventually made 28 off 24 balls, was dropped on nine by Al-Amin at the square-leg boundary. Chances like that kept coming in the final five overs – New Zealand lost five wickets and Mustafizur was even on a hat-trick in the 20th over – but the batsmen still came up with 46 runs to put up a total that proved quite safe because they had done their homework.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84
ESPN Sports Media Ltd.