Kolkata: One has to say that the Champions Trophy is getting more and more interesting as the competition is slowly moving towards the semi-final stages. Three days of intense cricket produced three upsets- first, Pakistan’s victory over South Africa, then Sri Lanka’s stunning win over title holders India and now, Bangladesh’s resounding win over New Zealand by five wickets.
The duo of Shakib Al-Hasan and Mahmadullah brought in all their experience and knowledge of the game to stage a dramatic fightback for Bangladesh and knock out New Zealand out of this edition of the Champions Trophy.
Batting first, New Zealand lost openers Martin Guptill (33) and Luke Ronchi (16) with only 69 runs on the board. Kane Williamson (57) then took over the responsibility of steering the team to a decent total. He was joined by the veteran Ross Taylor (63) as they stitched an 83-run partnership before Neil Broom (36) and James Neesham (23) fought their way to guide the New Zealand innings to 265/8 in their 50 overs.
In reply, the New Zealand bowlers were absolutely on fire as they left Bangladesh tottering at 35/4 at one stage. But Bangladesh came back hard and strong at New Zealand courtesy Shakib and Mahmadullah’s huge 224 run partnership which changed the complexion of the match completely.
Both of them- Shakib (114) and Mahmadullah (102*) notched up scintillating tons to register a dramatic victory for Bangladesh, at the very same venue in Cardiff where they had defeated the world champions Australia back in 2005. Slowly and steadily, they took their time to settle themselves to the conditions and accelerated when victory was near.
This win is definitely going to be celebrated long and hard by the Bangladeshi team and their fans as they are still in the hunt for a semifinal spot, if England beat Australia in the last game of this group.
New Zealand 265/8 (Ross Taylor 63, Kane Williamson 57; Mosaddek Hossain 3/13) lost to Bangladesh 268/5 in 47.2 overs (Shakib Al-Hasan 114, Mahmadullah 102*; Tim Southee 3/45) by 5 wickets.