By: Reuters | Hamilton | March 13, 2015 5:02 pm
Trent Boult and Tim Southee bowled expertly in favourable conditions early in the Bangladesh innings in their final Pool A clash but were unable to capture the extra couple of wickets which could have wrecked the innings.
Mitchell McClenaghan, playing his first game in the tournament after injury to Adam Milne, found the going tough and conceded 68 runs from eight unsuccessful overs.
Thirty-eight of those came from 24 balls to century maker Mahmudullah who helped his team become the first side to complete their 50 overs against the co-hosts and set New Zealand 289 to win.
When New Zealand batted Bangladesh’s tactic of opening with their spin bowlers paid off when captain Shakib Al Hasan captured the wickets of New Zealand’s two top batsmen Brendon McCullum and Kane Williamson in the space of an over.
Martin Guptill (105) and Ross Taylor (56) responded with a third-wicket partnership of 131 and there was some vigorous hitting from Grant Elliott and Corey Anderson before Tim Southee struck a six and a four to give New Zealand victory by three wickets with seven balls remaining.
“It was a bit of a topsy turvy game,” Guptill told a news conference after scoring his team’s first century in the competition while fighting cramp in his left calf.
“It’s nice to score a hundred whether it’s in the World Cup or not and it’s nice to get the end result there and get the win as well.
“Today (Friday) was one of the those days when everything went in the gap and I scored quite freely. But those days are few and far between so when you hit those days you have to make the most of it.”
Southee said the tight finish had confirmed New Zealand had found another way to win another game of cricket.
“I think that’s a testament to the side where we are challenged in different ways and come through and it’s another two points to the total,” he said.
“It just shows the quality in the side that we can win in different circumstances throughout the game.”