New Zealand have a huge slice of humble
pie to swallow after losing the opening one-day cricket
international to Bangladesh on Thursday night.
They were outplayed with the bat, the ball and in the field as
Bangladesh scored 202 for three to win the match by seven wickets at
Mirpur and snatch a shock 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
It marked the first time in 12 meetings that New Zealand had lost
to the subcontinental minnows and swiftly ended their goal of
vaulting to No 2 in the International Cricket Council one-day
Such a promotion was in the offing providing they won the
three-match series 3-0, which they were widely expected to do.
But Bangladesh put paid to that with a confident allround
performance, limiting the tourists to 201 for nine then running down
the target with 27 balls to spare.
In their first outing since July, the New Zealanders were clearly
ring rusty but that can take nothing away from Bangladesh,
contesting their first series since losing the services of 14
frontline players who deserted the national team to join the rebel
Indian Cricket League.
Opener Zunaed Siddique stood tallest for the hosts to score a
career-best 85, including eight boundaries, off 139 balls to set up
his team against an unthreatening bowling attack.
Captain Mohammad Ashraful was equally influential, making 60 not
out off 56 balls as he and Siddique combined in a stand of 109 for
the third wicket, their nation’s best for any wicket against New
Earlier, New Zealand suffered one of their infamous meltdowns en
route to handing the initiative to Bangladesh.
After being invited to bat first in damp and overcast conditions,
they lost five wickets for 18 runs to slump to 65 for five inside 17
overs before Jacob Oram led the resistance movement with a battling
57 off 89 deliveries.
The only top order batsman to get underway was Jesse Ryder, who
made 34 off 35 balls before spooning a catch to mid wicket.
Oram tempered his natural inclination to hit out as he and
skipper Daniel Vettori cautiously set about turning the tide.
These two put on 70 for the seventh wicket as the tourists
reached 149 after 40 overs before Vettori departed for 30.
Oram hung around for another six overs before holing out at long
on to become left-armer spinner Abdur Razzak’s third victim.
Razzak finished with the fine figures of three for 33 off 10
overs, but he was outshone by spirited fast-medium bowler Mashrafe
Mortaza, who enjoyed the helpful conditions early on.
Mortaza snared three for 18 in his opening burst of eight overs
and returned to pick up another late in the piece.
He ended with four for 44, figures which suffered in his last
spell when he conceded 26 runs in his last two overs.
Teenager Tim Southee swatted an unbeaten 19 off 14 balls at the
death to drag the tourists over the 200 mark.
The second match of the series is at the same venue on Saturday.