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Bangladesh get first T20I win over New Zealand to open series

Bangladesh began the five-match series with a seven-wicket win on Wednesday in their 11th attempt against New Zealand in the Twenty20 format.

New Zealand were bowled out for their combined minimum of 60 in 16.5 overs and Bangladesh recovered 7-2 to seal the victory with five overs to spare, making 62-3.

Bangladesh have now bowled both New Zealand and Australia in their lowest T20Is in under a month. Bangladesh defeated Australia for 62 runs in the fifth and final match in August to win the series 4–1.

Once again Bangladesh spinners and pacer Mustafizur Rahman played a key role on the slower and lower surface, finishing 3-13 in the latter.

Left-arm spinners Shakib Al Hasan, Nasum Ahmed and pacer Saifuddin took two wickets each while off-spinner Mahedi Hasan took one.

Shakib said, ‘This win will boost our confidence. “We have been bowling really well in the Australia series and against New Zealand. Our batting is not good right now but having said that the conditions are not easy to bat.

Nasum Ahmed removed Rachin Ravindra, who returned on the third ball of the innings, after Tom Latham opted to bat first. Shakib then joined him to cut the top order and reduced the Kiwis to 9-4 in the fourth over.

Latham and Henry Nicholls shared a 34-run stand for the fifth wicket and looked ready to stabilize the innings. But both missed a big shot against pacer Saifuddin, scoring 18-18 runs.

They were the only two batsmen to reach the double figures.

Mustafizur Rahman cleaned the tail and didn’t give the visitor a chance to get past the 100.

“A bit disappointed from the start. We knew it was going to be tough but we kept losing wickets at crucial times. For us, it’s about finding a way out in these conditions and trying to assess that to a good score What is it. It’s not easy with runs on the board.”

Offspinner Cole McConchie and left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel, one of the two debutants in New Zealand’s team, gave a ray of hope to the team by removing openers Mohammad Naeem and Liton Das in quick succession.

But the experienced Shakib Al Hasan kept the team’s nose ahead with a short but valuable 25 off 33 before Rachin Ravindra gave him his first wicket.

Mushfiqur Rahim, who returned to the team after missing the Australia series, and captain Mahmudullah propelled the team to victory, hitting McConchie in the east for a mid-wicket boundary.

Rahim was on 14 with Mahmudullah on 16.

The second match is on Friday.

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