A beacon of light appeared before the Tiger fans before the first game of the T20I series against the host country since the Tigers beat the Black Caps last ODI game at the same ground and in the same pitch. Bangladeshi pacers played a crucial role in creating a historic moment that time. Within a passage of just 4 days, the Tigers claimed another historic victory on the soil of Napier as the Black Caps lost a T20I match against Bangladesh in their homeland for the first time in history. Before this match, Bangladesh played 3 bilateral series against the Black Caps and a tri-nation series where Pakistan was present as the 3rd side but never won a match in those 11 games in New Zealand.
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Winning the toss, Bangladesh elected to bowl first as they had been successful in doing so in the last match of the previous ODI series. Kiwi batting lineup collapsed once again, but this time two spinners – Mahedi Hasan and Rishad Hasan joined the wicket-taking streak with the pace unit. Mahedi took 2 wickets with an expenditure of 14 runs after completing his bowling quota of 4 overs. A comparatively new face in Bangladesh cricket Rishad spent 24 runs and took 1 wicket in his 3 overs spell. Still, the pacers played a dominant role since this unit took 5 wickets. Shoriful took 2 major batters – Finn Allen, and Glenn Phillips alongside another all-rounder Michell Santner with a bowling figure of 4-0-26-3. Mustafizur was the most economical bowler from his side – gave merely 15 runs, took 2 wickets and maintained an economy rate of 3.75. Tanzim Sakib was the most expensive bowler from Bangladesh tonight. After giving a staggering 45 runs in his 4 overs spell he took the wicket of the 10th batter – Ish Sodhi. Kiwis could accumulate just 134 runs with a quid pro quo of 9 wickets after playing 20 overs – giving the visitors an unchallenging target of 135 runs in 120 balls.
Kiwi bowlers tried their best to restrict Bangladesh from chasing down the target as only two Bangladeshi batters reached their 20s. Soumya Sarker however was bowled by Ben Sears after scoring 22 runs of 15 balls. Three batters from the vising side scored 19 runs – Skipper Nazmul Hossain Shato, Tawhid Hridoy and Mahedi Hasan. Mahedi Hasan remained not out alongside openner Liton Kumar Das who added 42 runs by hitting two 4s and one 6 after playing 36 balls. 5 Black Caps bowlers (Southee, Milne, Neesham, Sears and Santner) claimed 1 wicket each before Bangladesh scored 137 runs with 8 balls and 5 wickets in hand. Thus, Bangladesh has a hope to create another history – winning a series against New Zealand for the first time in New Zealand.
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