Bangladesh have taken a 1-0 lead in the best of three One Day International series with a 43-run victory in a rain-affected match in Dhaka today.
After removing the hosts for 266, the BLACKCAPS' chase was disrupted by rain. But they made fearless progress until a Rubel hat trick changed the game completely. Grant Elliott's valiant effort with the tail fell 43 runs short under the Duckworth Lewis method, with Kane Williamson unable to bat due to a finger injury sustained in the field.
With the ball Tim Southee had made a solid return to the BLACKCAPS, as Corey Anderson and Jimmy Neesham restricted the scoring and took wickets to keep Bangladesh to 266, a total that looked gettable.
Southee's first first five overs produced two wickets for just eight runs, including two maidens, accounting for Tamim Iqbal in a straightforward lbw decision, and Anamul Haque in the seventh over.
Confusion reigned when Anamul Haque pushed to mid off and both batsmen wound up at the same end as Mitchell McClenaghan removed the bails at the other. After some animated discussion, Mominul was on his way back.
Mushfiqur Rahim and Naeem Islam got the innings back on track, bringing up their half centuries as the BLACKCAPS rotated their bowlers. Williamson's afternoon was cut short when he left the field in the 35th over for treatment after being hit hard on the wrist.
Anderson and Neesham set about destroying the tempo of the innings, with Anderson's first five overs going for just three runs an over. Neesham broke the partnership, getting Mushfiqur to edge to Brendon McCullum on 90. He followed that up three balls later by bowling Nasir Hossain for one run.
Southee, Neesham and Anderson did a fine job of closing the Bangladesh innings out, with Southee finishing with three wickets, Neesham four and Anderson two, restricting the hosts to 266.
Hamish Rutherford and debutant Anton Devcich started the chase. Rutherford went early, making way for Elliott at three, filling in for Williamson. Devcich looked at ease until he got a ball that stayed low from Mahmudullah and was bowled for 22 from 29 balls. Taylor made 8 but departed soon after to bring Anderson to the crease, who confidently hooked a short ball for six in the 19th, and smashed Mahmudullah for four. But from nowhere, the rain arrived in the 20th over with the BLACKCAPS on 82-3, behind the Duckworth Lewis par score of 106.
After an hour's break, there was a very different scenario - a 33 over match with a target of 206, at a shade under 10 an over. Elliott and Anderson took a no-nonsense approach, with both striking multiple boundaries, with Anderson rattling up three sixes in quick succession.
Drama arrived in the 24th over. Anderson was bowled by Rubel for 46 swinging for the fences and captain McCullum was next, fending a bouncing delivery to backward point. Neesham played the hat trick ball off his hips to leg, where Mushfiqur took a fine catch.
With wickets tumbling around him, Elliott hit out, but he ran out of partners - he finished on 71 from 77 and the BLACKCAPS finished 43 runs behind on Duckworth Lewis, to give Bangladesh a 1-0 lead in the best of three series.
The BLACKCAPS will look back on the things they did well in the field and with the ball, and look to impose themselves with the bat. There was enough in this performance to suggest they are capable of coming back hard in game two.