Bangladesh © AFP
Bangladesh © AFP

New Zealand remained undefeated in the Super 10s of ICC World T20 2016 after they beat Bangladesh by 75 runs in their final match of Group 2. The Eden Gardens was relatively empty as the match was a dead rubber with the Black Caps having already progressed for the semi-finals, and Bangladesh were just playing for pride. Bangladesh, who have dominated these opponents beating them at home in two consecutive One-Day International (ODI) series, struggled most of the times in the game. Although they restricted New Zealand to a reachable target, their batting once again let them down. However, the best highlight of the match surely belonged to them: FULL SCORECARD: New Zealand vs Bangladesh, 28th T20 Match, Super 10 Group 2

Mustafizur Rahman’s fifer: Mustafizur became the second Bangladesh bowler to pick five wickets in a Twenty20 International (T20I) match. His countryman Elias Sunny had taken 5 for 13 against Ireland at Belfast in 2012. Mustafizur removed the likes of Kane Williamson, Grant Elliot, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner and Nathan McCullum. He struck in his very first over when he dismissed opening batsman Nicholls. His next two overs saw him removing Williamson and Elliot respectively before he made twin dismissals in the final over of New Zealand’s innings.

Martin Guptill rested: Guptill who is New Zealand’s leading run-scorer so far in the tournament with 125 runs from three matches was rested which gave way for Nicholls to make his T20I debut. Unfortunately, the latter failed to make use of the opportunity and this only shows New Zealand do not really have an option of a decent opener if the likes of Guptill or Williamson suffer a sudden injury ahead of the crucial semi-final.

Kane Williamson’s match-winning knock: The New Zealand skipper went after his counterpart from the very first over, where he smashed two consecutive boundaries to get off the mark in style. He later targeted Bangladesh’s most experienced bowler Shakib Al Hasan. Williamson’s knock of 42 off 32 balls ensured New Zealand of a decent defendable total. Barring him, it was only Coiln Munro was contributed well with his 35 runs.

Grant Elliot’s spell: The all-rounder was one of the most economical bowlers of the match and three wickets set up the win for the Black Caps. His first victim was Mushfiqur Rahim in the 11th over. It was a beautiful delivery from Elliot, he pitched it around middle-stump. The wicketkeeper-batsman had no reply to that ball who got beaten straight away, while Elliot was clueless what had actually happened. The bails were off, the ball ended up in the hands of Luke Ronchi behind the wickets and hence there was confusion whether it was a stumping or Rahim was bowled. That dismissal was a crucial one because Rahim could have changed tables around.

The other wickets that he picked were of Bangladesh’s skipper Mortaza and Mustafizur Rahman. Both the breakthroughs were made in the 15th over, leaving Bangladesh with just one wicket in hand. While he failed to make any impact with the bat, Elliot compensated it thoroughly with figures of 3 for 12 in 4 overs.

(Sakshi Gupta, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a sports fanatic whose mantra in life is “do only what you enjoy.” Her Twitter handle is @sakshi2929)