Caught unawares in the first ODI in Napier, Bangladesh were reeling at 94 for 6 before Mohammad Mithun came together with Mehidy Hasan and Mohammad Saifuddin to effect a grand recovery. Mithun stitched together important partnerships for the seventh and eighth wickets, helping Bangladesh to 232 in 48.5 overs – a total that beggars a fight.
New Zealand were earlier too good for Bangladesh’s top order, even though the visitors opted to bat on a well-grassed surface that was sold as a good batting track. There was early nip available, akin to what India’s Mohammed Shami found earlier in the season, meaning Trent Boult and Matt Henry could go all out against a vulnerable Asian top-order in the first game of an overseas series.
That said, Boult picked Tamim Iqbal in his first over with a beautiful delivery: pitched middle, forced a drive and then straightened to take the outside edge. Matt Henry followed soon after with Liton Das’s wicket, getting him inside-edging onto his stumps.
Mushfiqur Rahim was another big wicket New Zealand managed inside eight overs. Softened by a blow on his helmet from Boult, Rahim tried to cut a delivery too close to play and shot an inside-edge onto his stumps. Soumya Sarkar, out to a short ball, was caught-and-bowled by Henry a delivery later. With both opening bowlers with a couple of wickets apiece, it was important to keep the pressure pedalled on.
What followed was a serious exhibition of pace from Lockie Ferguson, who consistently bowled above 150 kmph and troubled every batsman at the crease. Kane Williamson had done well to keep his slips intact, and it meant that Mahmudullah’s edge, when it did arrive, carried to Ross Taylor standing in the cordon.
Sabbir Rahman couldn’t offer much of a resistance in his comeback game from the ban. The 27-year-old was stumped while trying to sweep Santner, giving the left-arm spinner a wicket in his first over.