NZ vs BAN: Bangladesh clinch their maiden T20I win in New Zealand

In an intense showdown at Napier’s McLean Park, Bangladesh clashed with New Zealand in the first T20I of the series. Bangladesh, having won the toss, chose to field, aiming to capitalize on their recent triumph in the ODI against the hosts at the same venue. Despite New Zealand securing the series, Bangladesh’s spirited display in the last ODI bolstered their confidence.

The match took an unexpected turn as Bangladesh opted for a spin in the opening over. Mahedi Hasan and Shoriful Islam’s fierce seam attack in the powerplay crippled New Zealand, reducing them to a precarious 1/3. Although Mark Chapman and James Neesham attempted a recovery, Chapman’s dismissal halted their progress, and Neesham, who seemed set for a substantial knock, fell just shy of his 50.

Neesham, however, emerged as the savior, slamming a brisk 48 off 29 deliveries. Supported by skipper Santner, they aimed for a competitive total, eyeing 150, but a flurry of late wickets stifled their momentum, restricting them to 134. New Zealand struggled, losing wickets consistently, making their total seem insufficient by at least 20 runs for the Napier pitch.

Bangladesh exudes confidence while chasing a modest target

Even though New Zealand fought back with early breakthroughs during Bangladesh’s chase, the visitors adopted an aggressive approach. Litton Das took charge, exhibiting composure, and gradually accelerated, steering his team to victory without late dramatics. While Litton’s unbeaten 42 stood out, Bangladesh’s collective effort to avoid losing wickets in clusters proved crucial. A vital 40-run partnership between Litton and Mahedi, achieved in just 25 balls, ensured a smooth victory, with Bangladesh winning by 5 wickets in the series opener.

Bangladesh celebrated their maiden T20I victory in New Zealand, crediting their bowlers for setting the stage early in the game. Despite the absence of standout individual scores apart from Litton’s resilient innings, Bangladesh’s cohesive performance ensured a steady sail to victory, marking a historic milestone in their T20I journey in New Zealand.