Bangladesh relieved after historic victory in New Zealand

Publish: 5:55 PM, December 23, 2023 | Update: 5:55 PM, December 23, 2023

After securing their first victory against New Zealand in their backyard in 19th attempt, Bangladesh felt relieved even though the landmark victory came in the dead rubber.

The historic victory in Napier helped Bangladesh avoid the whitewash which looked on the cards following their meek surrender in the first two matches.

Bangladesh lost the rain-hit first game by 44 runs before suffering a seven-wicket defeat in the second game, despite a record-breaking 169 from Soumya Sarkar.

However they hit back incredibly to dominate the third game, which they finally won by nine wickets, and that too wrapping up New Zealand innings for paltry 98 in 31.4 overs. Bangladesh raced to the victory in 15.1 overs with captain Najmul Hossain Shanto hitting 42 ball-51, sending the ball across the ropes for eight times. Opener Anamul Haque Bijoy added 37 off 33.

Soumya Sarkar who made a historical century in the last match, was retired hert for 4. But he scalped 3-18 In six overs with his medium pace.

Medium pacers Shoriful Islam and Tanzim Hasan Sakib led the way, also taking three wickets each. Mustafizur Rahman took 1-36 as the pacers took all of the 10 wickets of the opponents, which is a rare scenario in Bangladesh’s perspective.

Tanzim Sakib, for his 3-14, was adjudged man of the match.

“Really proud of the way the boys played this match. Before the series, we thought we could win this series. Could not win the first two matches but thankfully we could win today,” an elated Bangladesh captain Najmul Hossain Shanto said after the match.

Shanto was critical about bowlers’ performance after the first two matches. Apart from Shoriful Islam, no one could thrive in New Zealand’s condition where there was always something for the pacers. He was however happy to see that the bowlers learned a lot to show a lethal performance that won the game finally here.

“The bowlers learned a lot. They were bowling in the good areas, did not go looking for wickets. Pleased with how the bowlers bowled today,” he added.

According to him, this victory will give them a lot of confidence ahead of the three-match T20 International series, starting on December 27.

After snapping the losing streak in Test and ODI, Bangladesh’s only target is now to register their first victory in T20 format on New Zealand soil. Bangladesh lost all of the nine T20 matches they played against New Zealand in their backyard.

“This match (win) gives us a lot of confidence but T20 is a different format, we will plan for it accordingly. We are planning to go to some places but we have to keep in mind that we need to play T20s in a few days,” he added.

New Zealand captain Tom Latham however was disappointed after failing to sweep the series.

“Obviously, it was a very below par performance. Were not able to build any partnerships and could not put pressure back on them. Bangladesh found some good movement and bowled in the right areas, credit to them,” he said.

“We always knew, at the half-way mark, that they would come hard, try to hit us off our lengths. They did that. You look at the whole of the series, and it was good to give some guys experience. Every game you play, you always want to learn. The guys will certainly learn from the challenges,” he added.