A superb all round bowling display paved the way for the opening batsmen to record a convincing ten wicket win for the BLACKAPS over Bangladesh in the Twenty20 match at Seddon Park in Hamilton.
Bangladesh were bowled out for 78 in 17.3 overs after they chose to bat, and the BLACKCAPS replied strongly with 79 without loss from 8.2 overs.
The visitors were undermined by disciplined bowling and superb catching with captain Daniel Vettori leading with way, taking three for six off four overs to record some of the best figures ever recorded in Twenty20 cricket.
Openers Tamim Iqbal and Mohammad Ashraful got off to a reasonable start with an 18 run partnership but the Bangladesh innings never got into gear as they lost wickets at regular intervals.
Daryl Tuffey was the first to strike, having Iqbal caught behind for 14, although a fair amount of credit should go to Brendon McCullum who took an athletic catch high above his head. James Franklin then bowled Aftab Ahmed for 12 in his only over before Vettori ripped through the line up.
Spinner Nathan McCullum was also in good form taking two for 15 off four overs with all rounder Jacob Oram chipping in with two for 16 off 2.3 including the wicket of Bangladesh’s top scorer, Raqibul Hasan, for 18.
Man of the match Vettori spoke highly of the bowling attack, “I thought Tuffey was outstanding. He’s carried his form in from domestic cricket and set a great platform for myself and for Nathan McCullum to capitalise on. I think that taking five for 20 between us really made the difference.”
In reply, a blistering opening stand between Peter Ingram and Brendon McCullum made short work of the chase with the winning runs coming off 50 balls.
Brendon McCullum was in a particularly belligerent mood which was highlighted by two inventive shots he played over his head to finish on 56 off 27 deliveries.
Debutant Ingram hit 20 not out off 23 and his opening partner McCullum was full of praise, “I think the Pete (Ingram) hit the ball a lot better than I did but I managed to get a couple away as well. It was a good partnership and one that starts Pete’s career really well.”
McCullum knows that the team can’t rest on their laurels, “These guys are a good team and they will be disappointed with the way the played to day and we’re under no illusions that these guys are capable of knocking us over at any given time so we have to play as good as we have done tonight and that’s going to be the challenge over the next couple of weeks,”
A despondent Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan said that there were a number of reasons for the loss, “We didn’t bat well and we didn’t assess the wicket or the conditions very well. We lost three wickets in three balls and that hurt”
The two team now compete in a three match One-Day International series starting at McLean Park in Napier on Friday 5th February.