Bangladesh defy Blundell-Nicholls to restrict NZ

Tom Blundell (68) was the only half-centurion in the second One-Day International match between Bangladesh and New Zealand that was played on Saturday, September 23, in Dhaka. Even though New Zealand’s hitters had promising starts, this was still the case. Thanks to the pacers and spinners of the hosts, who struck frequently and put pressure on the opposition, Ish Sodhi’s 35 helped New Zealand end with 254.

Lockie Ferguson, the captain of New Zealand, made the decision to bat first. Will Young was ejected for an 8-ball duck after edging a Mustafizur throw to the keeper after a couple of boundaries from Finn Allen. The left-arm seamer thought about Allen as well before ultimately falling off the cliff. The visitors were down to 36/3 in the eighth over when Bowes, who appeared to be in excellent form, was the next to go. He stole the short ball from young Khaled Ahmed, and it went square leg.

Blundell and Henry Nicholls effectively stabilised New Zealand with their cool demeanour. Blundell got 50 runs in just 54 balls thanks to several well placed boundaries and good strike rotation. He also contributed to the fourth wicket partnership. A 95-run stand was ended despite Nicholls almost winning by one run after taking an advantage off Khaled.

Rachin Ravindra started the scoring by hitting a few fours off Mustafizur, while Blundell scored the first six runs of the inning by redirecting a long-hop from Khaled. They added 26 before Mahedi Hasan pinned Ravindra in front to terminate his stay. Hasan Mahmud then made the important dismissal of Blundell, who was bowled while attempting to flick a yorker. As a result of Nasum Ahmed’s successful arm ball strike against Cole McConchie, Bangladesh reduced New Zealand to 187/7.

During the last overs, Kyle Jamieson and Sodhi turned up the heat, giving New Zealand the much-needed boost. Off Mustafizur, who finished with a 2-53 and left the field after hurting himself while fielding, Jamieson hit two fours in one over, while Sodhi hit a six off Nasum. Jamieson was outwitted by 32-year-old Mahedi, who then broke the eighth wicket partnership.

Mahmud had instructed Sodhi to leave the crease and move to the non-striker’s end, but captain Litton Das brought the batsman back instead. Ferguson smashed a four and a six, scoring three significant runs, before Mahedi stopped him. Mahedi finished with a score of 3-45, a career-high, and got a six from Sodhi. As soon as Soumya Sarkar parried the ball across the boundary in the final over, Sodhi smacked his third six. Khaled stepped in and unexpectedly stopped his visit as he was trying to make his third catch, forcing Bangladesh to ask for a review.

Brief scores: New Zealand 254 in 49.2 overs (Tom Blundell 68, Henry Nicholls 49; Mahedi Hasan 3-45, Khaled Ahmed 3-60) vs Bangladesh.

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