Sports, Cricket

Kiwis deny Tigers to win series

Published : 31 Dec 2023 09:43 PM

New Zealand captain Mitchell Santner took four wickets as the Black caps beat Bangladesh by 17 runs (Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method) in a rain-affected third and final T20 international to draw the series 1-1 at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui on Sunday.

After dismissing the tourists for 110 the Kiwis top-order collapsed to 49-5 before Jimmy Neesham and Santner recovered to reach 95-5 off 14.4 overs to deny Bangladesh winning the sires.

When heavy rain halted the match, the Black Caps were comfortably ahead of the DLS target, thanks largely to an unbeaten 28 from all-rounder Neesham.

The result denied Bangladesh a first series victory on New Zealand soil in any format, having lost the preceding ODI series 2-1.

"Our bowlers did the job up front keeping them to 110 and it's good to get across the line in what's been a pretty tough-fought series," Santner said.

"It got quite tight in the end today. Credit to Bangladesh, their bowlers have bowled extremely well. They put us under some real pressure again."

After asking Bangladesh to bat first on a lively Bay Oval pitch, Santner claimed 4-16 off his four overs, stifling an innings that was already struggling at 41-3 when he was introduced.

Seamers Tim Southee, Adam Milne and Ben Sears all took two wickets.

Milne (2-23) removed Bangladesh captain and top-scorer Najmul Hossain Shanto for 17 when he skied a full-pitched delivery to point. Shanto rued the fact that he and four other Bangladesh batsmen reached double figures, but all failed to convert into a substantial score.

"The bowlers did a great job but the batsmen didn't get runs today," he said.

"In T20s the top of the order is very important. Our batsmen got starts, like 15 or 17, but they're not taking the game deep."

Four of New Zealand's top order were dismissed for one run and when Finn Allen followed after scoring 38, Neesham held the innings together as the storm clouds gathered, with solid support from Santner who was unbeaten on 18.

Seam bowler Shoriful Islam took two for 17 off 3.4 overs.

Bangladesh won the first game in Napier on Wednesday last by five wickets, before the second match was abandoned after 11 overs because of rain in Mount Maunganui on Friday.