Martin Guptill, Daniel Vettori and Tim Southee starred as the BLACKCAPS were made to work hard for a three wicket win in the final One-Day International against Bangladesh at AMI Stadium in Christchurch.
With the series well and truly in the BLACKCAPS back pocket, the Bangladesh team finally showed its competitive side. Posting its highest total of the tour, they made a competitive 241 for nine in its 50 overs.
Daniel Vettori again won the toss and put Bangladesh into bat. “The wicket has been under cover for three days and we saw a bit of green tinge on it,” he said. “We wanted to keep the pressure on them.”
Early on it seemed that history might be repeating itself with Tamim Iqbal leaving for eight on the last ball of the first over. Tonight however was not going to be a replay of Napier and Dunedin’s batting capitulations.
The Bangladeshi innings was dominated by a magnificent 101 from Imrul Kayes. The left-hand opening batsman showed a lot of guts and determination on his way to his maiden ODI century. Kayes combined with Ashraful (31) and Shakib (36) in the middle spell, demonstrating the sort of application and commitment that has been missing so far from the tourists.
Chief destroyers for the BLACKCAPS were Tim Southee with three for 37 and Vettori with three for 42. Andy McKay and Ian Butler were relatively expensive with 6.0 and 7.55 per over respectively off eight overs. But it was a much-improved performance by the Bangladesh team, who at last showed a glimpse of their potential.
In reply the BLACKCAPS openers Brendon McCullum (19) and Peter Ingram (25) got starts but couldn’t convert them into big scores.
Martin Guptill led the run chase with an aggressive run-a-ball 91 that included nine boundaries and three sixes. He shared a 71 run partnership with Vettori promoted himself to bat five and promptly hit 34 before holing out.
Some middle order jitters saw three wickets fall for 15 runs to leave the BLACKCAPS teetering on 210 for seven.
James Franklin (19*) and Ian Butler (13*) steadied the ship and guided the home home with over five overs to spare.
For Bangladesh, spinner Shakib Al Hasan returned the excellent figures of four for 33 off his ten overs.
The team move to Hamilton where they will play a one off Test match at Seddon Park starting on Monday 15th February.