Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Milne, Young give New Zealand series win

Zakir Hasan was the first of Adam Milne's dismissals AFP/Getty Images

New Zealand 175 for 3 (Young 70, Nicholls 50*, Shoriful 2-32) beat Bangladesh 171 (Shanto 76, Milne 4-34, McConchie 2-18, Boult 2-33) by seven wickets

A four-wicket haul for Adam Milne, some useful contributions from their part-time bowlers, and Will Young's 70 gave New Zealand a seven-wicket win in Mirpur in their final fixture before the ODI World Cup. The hosts were always behind in the game after being bowled out for 171 and, barring a double-wicket jolt from Shoriful Islam, failed to put New Zealand under any pressure.

Young's start was watchful, needing ten balls to get his first run, but once he got off the mark with a boundary, he didn't let go of the tempo. Bangladesh's seamers tested him with the short ball, but he was up to the challenge on the pull, apart from the occasional boundaries through midwicket and cover.

It was a crucial innings given New Zealand lost Finn Allen and debutant Dean Foxcroft off back-to-back deliveries in the tenth over, leaving a slow-to-start Henry Nicholls needing to survive a period of Bangladesh bowling that was by those dismissals. Young, though, didn't feel the heat, bringing up his fifty in 64 balls, and even changing gears in its aftermath.

Young raced through the 50s and 60s with consecutive fours off Hasan Mahmud in the 26th over, followed by ten runs in two balls off Nasum Ahmed in the 28th. He eventually fell for 70 in the 30th over, bowled by a skiddy Nasum delivery, but by then New Zealand needed only 42 more to win. Nicholls, who stayed unbeaten on 50, and Tom Blundell did the rest with more than 15 overs to spare.

In the afternoon, Najmul Hossain Shanto's counter-attacking half-century on ODI captaincy debut took Bangladesh to 171. The No. 3 batter crunched ten fours in his 84-ball 76, but with the second-highest contribution being Mahmudullah's 21, Bangladesh ended with an underwhelming total.

It was Milne, replacing Kyle Jamieson in the XI, who dealt the early blow. He sent in a searing yorker in the second over of the match to dismiss debutant Zakir Hasan and, then, in the sixth over, had Towhid Hridoy slicing to cover. Sandwiched between those two dismissals was Trent Boult getting opener Tanzid Hasan caught at first slip. All that left Bangladesh at 35 for 3 and desperately searching for stability.

Shanto - the stand-in captain for the original stand-in captain Litton Das - provided part of it by holding one end up. He hit six fours inside the first ten overs to race away to 31 in just 26 balls, and also looked comfortable against the bouncers that the New Zealand pacers peppered him with. He was not afraid to take on Ish Sodhi early, and even successfully played the reverse sweep. By the time the 20th over ended, Shanto had reached his fifth ODI half-century.

But New Zealand captain Lockie Ferguson ended Mushfiqur Rahim's 25-ball vigil with a short ball that rolled back onto his stumps, and Milne returned to dismiss Mahmudullah. That left Shanto to play with the lower order and even though he shepherded the innings for a while, he eventually fell to the part-time offspin of Cole McConchie while attempting another reverse sweep.

That was just the opening New Zealand needed, and over the next three overs, they cleaned up the tail. McConchie had Nasum stumped, Rachin Ravindra had Hasan lbw, and Milne finished with 4 for 34 when he had Shoriful, the last man to be dismissed, caught at cover.

For Sodhi, who took 6 for 39 in the second ODI, it was a forgettable outing, conceding 40 runs in six wicketless overs. With Ferguson looking for spin overs from elsewhere, Ravindra and McConchie stepped up on Sodhi's off-colour day to prise out lower-order wickets. Together, the pair returned figures of 10-1-38-3, while Boult finished with two wickets.

After sealing the series, New Zealand now fly to Hyderabad in India for their World Cup warm-up fixture against Pakistan. Bangladesh, who just announced their squad for the competition, will go to Guwahati in north-east India for their warm-up match against Sri Lanka. The two sides will link up again for two Tests after the World Cup.

New Zealand 2nd innings Partnerships

1st49WA YoungFH Allen
2nd0WA YoungD Foxcroft
3rd81HM NichollsWA Young
4th45TA BlundellHM Nicholls