Liton, Mahedi guide Bangladesh to maiden T20I win

Abu Sufian

Liton Das played a measured knock of unbeaten 42 off 36 deliveries while batting with cramps to guide Bangladesh to a five-wicket win over New Zealand in the first T20I in Napier today.

The right-handed opening batter anchored the chase and had good support from Sheikh Mahedi, who remained not out on 19 off 16 deliveries, as Bangladesh chased down 134 in 18.4 overs with five wickets in hand.

The victory in Bangladesh’s first over the Kiwis in New Zealand, and comes at a venue where Bangladesh had won their first ODI against the same opposition on their shores last week.

Liton and Mahedi forged the unbroken partnership of 40 runs after Bangladesh had wobbled, losing five wickets for 97 runs.  Opener Rony Talukdar, captain Najmul Hossain Shanto and Soumya Sarkar perished in search of quick runs as Bangladesh reached 73 for three in 10 overs, chasing 134 runs set by New Zealand in the first T20I in Napier.

Rony departed for a 7-ball 10 while Shanto scored 19 off 14 balls — both getting out while trying expansive strokes against Adam Milne and James Neesham respectively.

Soumya looked in great touch and raced to 22 off 15 deliveries before being bowled by Ben Sears.

Shoriful Islam, Sheikh Mahedi Hasan and Mustafizur Rahman starred with the ball as Bangladesh kept New Zealand to 134 for nine in 20 overs after opting to field first in the first T20I in Napier today.

Shoriful took 3-26 and had a couple of catches dropped off his bowling while Mustafizur finished with 2-15 as New Zealand never got into top gear despite an aggressive 28-ball 48 from James Neesham.

Sheikh Mahedi, who finished early, took two for 14 while leg-spinner Rishad Hossain got one wicket. Debutant pacer Tanzim Hasan Sakib was expensive, going for 45 in four overs for a solitary wicket.

Even as New Zealand kept losing wickets, James Neesham played a blinder of an innings, taking the hosts past 100-run mark with some aggressive shots. Mustafizur Rahman,

though, dismissed the left-hand batter with a low full toss which Neesham (48 off 28) played straight to Afif in the deep.  Bangladesh players celebrate the dismissal of New Zealand’s Mitchell Santner

during the first Twenty20 International at McLean Park in Napier on December 27, 2023. Photo: AFP

Leg-spinner Rishad Hossain struck with his second ball to end a 30-run partnership between Mark Chapman and James Neesham.

Rishad got Chapman (19) to play one away from his body as the ball looped up in deep where Tanjim Hasan Sakib took the catch. New Zealand were five down for 50 in the 10th over.

Mahedi Hasan and Shoriful Islam struck three times within the first two overs as New Zealand were reduced to two for three.

Mahedi dislodged opener Tim Seifert’s castle with one that spun a bit in in the first over of the innings before Shoriful hit twice in two balls — getting Fin Allen

to edge one to Soumya Sarkar at first slip and then getting Glenn Phillips, who shouldered arms, trapped right in front.

Mahedi then returned to get rid of the dangerous-looking Daryll Mitchell — bowled in identical fashion as Seifert — as New Zealand were 36 for four after six overs.

Fresh off their first-ever ODI win on New Zealand soil, a buoyant Bangladesh side would look to repeat the same dose on the hosts as the two sides meet in Napier — the venue for Bangladesh historic win last week — in the first T20I today.

Bangladesh, like that ODI, won the toss and elected to field first. Remember, the Najmul Hossain Shanto-led side bowled New Zealand for 98

before chasing down the target with nine wickets in hand in that third ODI of the series. So no surprises after Shanto won the toss and elected to bat first.

Leg-spinner Rishad Hossain gets in to the Bangladesh side as all-rounder Mehedi Hasan Miraz misses out. Bangladesh play with three pacers plus Soumya Sarkar alongside two spinners in Mahedi Hasan and Rishad.   Bangladesh:

Litton Das (wk), Soumya Sarkar, Najmul Hossain Shanto (c), Rony Talukdar, Towhid Hridoy, Afif Hossain, Mahedi Hasan, Rishad Hossain, Shoriful Islam, Tanzim Hasan Sakib, Mustafizur Rahman

New Zealand: Tim Seifert (wk), Finn Allen, Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner (c), Adam Milne, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Ben Sears



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