Bangladesh survive Latham scare to win thriller, lead series 2-0

Bangladesh have sealed their second straight win over New Zealand in T20, clinching a cliffhanger by 4 runs despite heroics from skipper Tom Latham.

Published : 3 Sept 2021, 12:00 PM
Updated : 3 Sept 2021, 03:28 PM

They now lead the five-match series 2-0.

Bouncing back from the low of 60 all out in the first game, a spirited New Zealand nearly scripted a victory, needing six off the last ball. But they only managed one run to see Bangladesh continue their wonderful string of strong performances.

Chasing a tricky 142 on another slow qnd turning pitch at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Friday, Latham battled hard, smashing an uneaten 49-ball 65 through the innings but a lack of experience from his inexperienced partners eventually left them just short.

There was drama at the end when New Zealand required 20 off the last over by Mustafizur and stripped it down to 13 off two deliveries when Mustafizur’s beamer was swatted away overhead for a boundary by Latham. It brought the equation down to eight off two including a free hit.

Mutafizur did not offer the batsmen any room to free their arm and gave away only three to help Mahmudullah register his 12th win as T20 captain.

Earlier, a solid 59-run opening partnership between Mohammad Naim (39) and Liton Das (33) was later bolstered by Mahmudullah 32-ball 37 as an unchanged Bangladesh made 141 for six.

Although the track offered turn and bounce, New Zealand spinners could not keep things tight and tidy like they did in the first game. But Rachin Ravindra’s 3-22, which included the three top-order batsmen, snuffed out Bangladesh’s chances of a 150-plus total.

Promoting himself to number 3, Latham took charge when New Zealand were reduced to 18 for two by Mahedi Hasan (2-12) and Shakib Al Hasan (2-29).

He did not try to go after the spinners on a turning track, and maintained a run-a-ball rate in a 43-runs stand with Will Young for the third wicket, preparing to power through at the end.

The Tigers were still on top when Latham swept Saif Uddin for a six to bring the equation to 57 needed off 36 balls.

At the other end, two more wickets fell to the spinners in the next two overs but Latham cracked boundaries to keep the target in sight.

He lofted Shakib over, slashed Mustafizur wide out on the off side, ramped Shakib before intentionally edging Mustafizur’s beamer in the last over. But he could not hit two boundaries in the last two deliveries.

Man of the Match Mahmudullah said, “Mustafiz held his nerve well and we went really close. It was unusual, but I had quite a bit of confidence in Mustafizur.

“Mahedi has been bowling really well with the new ball and the wicket got better. We are happy to continue with this streak

Adjudged Most Valuable Player of the Match, Latham said: “Yeah, it was a great game to take it down to the last over. I thought we learnt from the last game and to take it down to the last over with a chance of winning was outstanding.

“Yeah, I think a better surface makes for a better game and that was the case. Rachin bowled well and did a really good job. We probably weren't there as we would have liked, but I thought 130-140 was a competitive score.

“My role is to try to bat through the innings and other guys to be slightly more take it to the last over I was really proud of the guys to change it around.”

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher