A superb all-round performance by Shakib Al Hasan led Bangladesh to a gripping nine run win in the first One-Day International against the BLACKCAPS in Dhaka.
Originally set 229 for victory after Bangladesh were bowled out for 228, the BLACKCAPS were 85 for four when the rain forced the players from the field. When play resumed the revised target was 210 in 37 overs but they fell short, managing only 200 for eight.
The run chase got off to a bright start with Brendon McCullum and Jesse Ryder hitting 53 for the first wicket before Ryder went for 21 off 20 balls.
Watling looked scratchy and was bowled for a 14 ball duck. That didn’t deter McCullum who continued to pepper the boundary.
A fantastic over from Shakib Al Shakib turned the match when he removed McCullum for 61 off 64 deliveries and then new batsman Elliott for none, reducing the BLACKCAPS to a precarious 85 for four when the rain came.
After the break, Ross Taylor and Daniel Vettori wrestled back the momentum with a 50 run partnership for the fifth wicket but when Vettori (24) paddled a full toss straight to fine leg the pressure was back on the visitors.
There problems were compounded when Shannan Stewart was run-out for two and Taylor trapped LBW for 42 and they weren’t able to recover.
Nathan McCullum and Kyle Mills scrambled for runs at the end of the innings but were left with too much to do. Nathan McCullum became Shakib Al Hasan’s fourth victim in the penultimate over.
Shakib Al Hasan was the standout bowler taking four for 41 while fellow spinner Naeem Islam picked up two for 30.
Earlier, all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan led the way for the home side with stylish 58 off 51 balls while a number of other top order batsman got starts but couldn’t kick on after Bangladesh won the toss and elected to bat.
The openers put on 34 before Kyle Mills had Imrul Kayes caught behind. Bangladesh then went through a pattern of rebuilding and losing wickets.
The spin of Daniel Vettori and Nathan McCullum did the damage as they kept building pressure and taking key wickets.
Tim Southee and Andy McKay were inconsistent at times but proved to be a handful at the death.
Mills took late wickets to finish with three for 44 with while Vettori was the best on display taking two for 29. Ryder chipped in with two cheap wickets.
The second match of the series is on Friday 8 October at the same venue.