A yet another abysmal batting show scripted Bangladesh's wicket eight-wicket defeat to New Zealand in their third game of the ICC Cricket World Cup at M A Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai today.
Put into bat first in otherwise a good batting track, Bangladesh piled up 245-9, a score that New Zealand chased effortlessly with 248-2 in 42.5 overs.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson who played his first match after recovering a knee injury, sustained during the IPL in March, made a comeback to remember with 78. He however had taken retirement presumably to avoid further injury.
Daryl Mitchell made team best 67 ball-89 not out with six fours and four sixes, plundering Bangladesh bowlers all corner of the park.
Mushfiqur Rahim scored 66 off 75 with six fours and two sixes to lead the charge for Bangladesh after a familiar top order collapse. Mahmudullah lived up to the expectation in finisher role with 49 ball-41 not out, an innings laced with two fours and as many sixes. Skipper Shakib Al Hasan chipped-in-with 40 as he struck three fours and two sixes in his 51-ball-knock.
These three knocks from the senior batters saved Bangladesh from being red faced after making a disastrous start. Bangladesh however came into the match with a long batting line up as they brought back Mahmudullah to replace offspinner Mahedi Hasan.
Mahmudullah though repaid the faith, the top order once again left Bangladesh in the troublesome situation.
Bangladesh lost opener Liton Das in the first ball as he charged Trent Boult but was caught at fine-leg.
Mehidy Hasan Miraz who made 30 after batting at No.3 position looked to steady the innings alongside Tanzid Hasan Tamim but Bangladesh found them in wanting when fast bowler Lockie Ferguson was introduced into the attack.
Ferguson's short pitched delivery and bouncer with raw pace clearly intimidated the batters and both of Tanzid who made 16 and Miraz were undone by the bouncer.
Offspinner Glenn Philips further blew Bangladesh, claiming the wicket of Najmul Hossain Shanto after he made just 7.
Shakib and Mushfiqur tried to rescue the side as Bangladesh were left to 56-4 in 13th over.
They dealt with Ferguson's short pitched delivery confidently to tick the scoreboard.
Mushfiqur by the time reached his 48th fifty off 52 balls, upper-cutting Ferguson for a boundary through deep backward point.
With caution and aggression, they shared 96 runs for the fifth wicket but relentless Ferguson once again jolted Bangladesh, taking out Shakib with another bouncer.
Onus was on Mushfiqur to drive the side but fast bowler Matt Henry rattled his stump with a delivery that kept too low, much to the surprise of the batter.
Mahmudullah who started slowly, gained the pace as the time progressed as he led the lower order to help Bangladesh edge closer to 250-run mark.
Ferguson was the best bowler for New Zealand with 3-49 while Boult and Henry took two wickets apiece.
Bangladesh made a good start with bowling, taking out Rachin Ravindra early, thanks to Mustafizur Rahman but New Zealand showed how to bat in this wicket.
Coming to bat after nine months, Kane Williamson and Devon Conway batted with serenity and calmness as the pitch had everything to offer for the bowlers.
With go slow policy, they shared 80 off 105 balls for the second wicket to lay a solid foundation.
Shakib broke the partnership, dismissing Conway who made 45 off 59 with just three boundaries.
As the platform was set nicely, Williamson and Daryl Mitchell went on berserk with the Bangladeshi bowlers to share further 108 runs, which edged the side closer to victory.
Williamson hit eight fours and one six in his 107 ball-78, before being retired hurt.
Mitchell and Glenn Philips then did the rest with the former signing off the match, hitting a towering six off pacer Shoriful Islam.