In what appeared to be a continuation of Bangladesh’s dominating display against the Aussies, the spinners and Mustafizur Rahman (3-13) skittled out the tourists for just 60 in 16.5 overs after reducing the Black Caps to 9 for 4 inside four overs at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket on Wednesday.
The Kiwis then got off to a good start with the ball by reducing Bangladesh to 7 for two.
But with a measly total to chase, credits went to the Bangladesh seniors as Shakib Al Hasan (25) led a recovery with Mushfiqur Rahim (16) who later paired with Mahmudullah to coast to the win.
The track offered sharp turns to both sides. Mahedi Hasan (1-15), Nasum Ahmed (2-5) and Shakib (2-10) put a leash on the batsmen early on.
Rachin Ravindra’s debut ended in a tame return catch for a duck before Will Young (5), Tom Blundell (2), and Colin de Grandhomme (1) all failed to pick the length and were done in.
Tom Latham (18) and Henry Nicholls (18) then showed the top order the right way to approach the Bangladesh bowlers, with decisive footwork and committing to the stroke, and stitched New Zealand’s highest partnership of 34 in the fifth wicket.
After steering past spin, Latham gave Saifuddin (2-7) his first wicket sweeping straight to fine leg before another debutant, Cole McConchie, also fell for a duck to Shakib.
Running out of partners and under pressure, Nicholls lofted one from Saifuddin who changed up to a slower to claim another wicket.
As New Zealand slumped to 49 for seven, Mustafizur cleaned up the tail to hand Bangladesh an opportunity to seal a first-ever T20 win against the Kiwis after 10 failures.
Belying the anticipation of a cake walk, the Tigers lost early wickets and had to bank on experience to calmly steer to the win with five overs to spare.
Ajaz Patel’s ripping left-arm spin restricted the batsmen as he finished his quota of four over returning 1 for 7.
Offspinner McConchie picked up his first wicket in T20 cricket with his first ball when Mohammad Naim hit straight to short midwicket.
Latham sprung up a stumping to send Liton Das packing after the batsman was lured into a drive and beaten in flight by Patel.
Using their skills in playing spin, Shakib and Mushfiqur swept and paddled to cruise towards the target. However, Shakib’s cut edged back to Latham as Ravindra bagged his maiden international wicket.
Skipper Mahmudullah then paired with Mushfiqur to reach the target and maintain their string of good performances in the shortest form.
Adjudged Man of the Match, Shakib said, “Very good feeling to win the first match of the series, given the fact we've never won against New Zealand. This win will boost our confidence.
“We've been bowling really well through the Australia series and against New Zealand. Our batting is not up to the mark yet, but, having said that, the conditions are not easy for batting.”
At the post match presentation, Mahmudullah said, “ It's a good feeling, having lost a few matches against them [New Zealand]. We need to come back again and do it again.”
“The main key was bowlers were hungry and disciplined with their skills; they were not trying too much and that was important. I'd have batted first but it's always a tricky wicket.