New Zealand gave tournament favourites Bangladesh a close call in their Under-19 World Cup opener in Colombo.
Bangladesh claimed a three-wicket victory at the P.Saravanamuttu Stadium, but it was far from a straightforward win.
Dipak Patel‘s side were dismissed for 175 in 45.3 overs, after inspired performances from spinners Mehrab Hossain - who took four wickets for 29 runs - and Mohammad Shoreward (3-36).
Todd Astle top-scored for them with 44, and Martin Guptill, 28 and captain Marc Ellison and Roneel Hira hit 22 each.
However, Hamish Bennett and Tim Southee took two wickets each as they reduced Bangladesh to 5-2 and then 123-6 before they edged home.
Coach Patel said: “It is fair to say that in these conditions we have been found wanting against the spinners. We are struggling on the slower wickets as our players are used to the ball coming on (to the bat) a bit more.
“We are learning a lesson of how to play in these conditions and we have got better and better in every match but it is a short tournament and we have got to put our thinking caps on to come up with some answers. We weathered the storm early on as their opening bowlers bowled well as our openers played well.
“But then we lost our way against their spinners and we never got any partnerships going to get us to between 220 and 250. Our bowling and fielding was outstanding defending a small total, it was 100 percent better than the warm-up games. Perhaps we could have won it but in the end they took their chances, played positively and overall they were the better side."
Patel remained positive the side could still qualify the Super League quarter-finals.
“Our destiny is in our own hands,” he added. “We have got to beat Uganda well, beat Pakistan and then look at run-rates.
“We have not done ourselves a huge favour with this loss but there is good fighting spirit in the side and we will fight on.”
New Zealand’s next match in Group A is against Uganda on Tuesday while Bangladesh face Pakistan on Wednesday. Only two sides can progress through to the Super League quarter-finals.