New Zealand easily avoided becoming the
first major cricketing nation to concede a one-day series to
Bangladesh after their hosts’ batting frailties made their
shortcomings seem mild by comparison in Chittagong on Tuesday night.

Set 250 to secure a historic 2-1 victory at the Divisional
Stadium, Bangladesh never threatened to repeat their giant killing
deeds in Mirpur last Thursday.

They batted out the 50 overs but ended on 170 for eight — 79
short of New Zealand’s 249 for seven, an innings highlighted by Ross
Taylor’s 103, his third ODI century.

Jamie How also hinted at a pleasing return to form ahead of the
two-test series as he compiled a classy 73, a necessary knock after
his made seven and a 16-ball duck in the earlier matches.

The pair added 125 for the third wicket after New Zealand were in
early strife at 13 for two — their partnership was ultimately the
point of difference between two sides that have consistently
struggled to thrive at the crease.

Taylor crafted his ton off 117 balls though it was How who
initially led the recovery after Jesse Ryder (3) and Brendon
McCullum (6) were gone within seven overs.

How shed some poor form by recording his seventh ODI half century
off 54 balls with eight boundaries — including the only three New
Zealand stroked inside a circumspect opening 10 overs.

He eventually made 73 off 82 balls
, a boost for the test opener ahead of the first match in Chittagong
from Friday.

Taylor also made the most of his last opportunity, picking up the
pace after needing 73 balls to make his seventh ODI half century.

He stroked five boundaries and a clubbed quartet of sixes — and
needing just 44 balls to advance from his fifty to triple figures.

Taylor, visibly tiring in 30degC-plus heat, was out two balls
after acknowledging his teammates when he skied a full toss to
wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim.

How and Taylor glossed over an otherwise unimpressive performance
from the specialist batsmen in their last pre-test dress rehearsal.

Ryder made a ponderous three from 20 balls before his lack of
footwork saw him being bowled while McCullum was admittedly a shade
unlucky to be adjudged leg before wicket for six.

Limited overs specialist Scott Styris, who is heading home
tomorrow, made 12 while Daniel Flynn eked out five before he top
edged an ill-conceived reverse sweep.

Oram, New Zealand’s batting saviour in the first two matches,
contributed just three — robbing the innings of some late over
impetus though Daniel Vettori and Kyle Mills slammed 30 off 18 balls
at the death.

Although Bangladesh should have faced a tougher ask, it was still
well beyond them.

Their quest to match the 250 for five they managed to stun
Australia in Cardiff three years ago unravelled dramatically between
the 12th and 17th overs as the score plummeted from 49 for one to 59
for five.

Oram missed out with the bat but triggered the Bangladeshi
collapse when having debutant Imrul Kayes caught behind for 12.

Three balls later Jeetan Patel had Tamim Iqbal (35) bottom edging
to McCullum’s gloves and when Oram bent back Mohammad Ashraful’s leg
stump the outcome was a formality.

The captain’s self-inflicted downfall for eight off seven balls
prompted a crowd exodus though the actual end took another 34 dozy
overs as the remaining batsmen sought to occupy the crease.

Naeem Islam was the chief culprit, top scoring with an unbeaten
46 off 106 balls.

New Zealand’s victory followed their series-levelling 75-run win
on Saturday.

They now seek to transfer their dominance to the test arena where
the protection of their six-win no-loss record against Bangladesh is
the priority.

Unused pace bowler Michael Mason and Styris return home leaving a
squad of 13. Patel stated his case to bowl in tandem with Vettori by
taking two for 29 off his 10.