Another mind-numbing batting collapse from Bangladesh meant that they lost the Nelson ODI and along with it the series to New Zealand. They only had 252 to chase, and at one point were 105 for 1 but ended up losing the remaining nine wickets for only 79 runs. This meant that Neil Broom, who made his first ODI century nearly eight years after his debut, had something special to savour.
It was déjà vu for Bangladesh. Back in October, they were on course to chase England’s 309 in Mirpur. After Imrul Kayes and Shakib Al Hasan added 118 runs for the fifth wicket, the hosts needed just 39 runs in the last 8.3 overs. But they ended up losing their last six wickets for 17 runs in the space of 39 balls. It seemed Bangladesh had carried the baggage from that game to their tour of New Zealand.
There was a rosy period, as with most Bangladesh batting collapses. After New Zealand were restricted to the first score under 300 batting first at home against Bangladesh, Kayes and Sabbir Rahman added 75 runs for the second wicket.
Kayes showed good patience, nudging singles off the wicket-to-wicket balls and taking full toll when he was given width. The pull also came out a number of times and when part-time seamer Colin Munro dropped him on 19, New Zealand would have been worried. Sabbir, from the other end, confidently cut and drove the fast bowlers as Bangladesh seemed to take control. They needed 146 runs off 163 balls with nine wickets in hand.
That was when the first domino fell, via a tragicomic run-out. Kayes pushed the ball into the covers and set off for a quick single. Sabbir responded initially before changing his mind. Kayes kept on running, and ended up reaching the non-striker’s end before Sabbir who had turned him away. That meant the throw at the strikers’ end essentially led to the the non-striker’s run out.
Then, in the 26th over, an inswinging yorker from Lockie Ferguson toppled Mahmudullah’s middle stump.
Three overs later, Shakib Al Hasan cut Kane Williamson to backward point. In the next over from the part-time offspinner, Mosaddek Hossain chipped a catch to mid-off.
Five balls later Kayes drove lazily at a Tim Southee delivery and Bangladesh’s best hope for stemming the collapse was gone. He made 59 off 89 with six fours.
Bangladesh lost six wickets in 10 overs between the 23rd and the 33rd and were eventually bowled out for 184. One more damning sign of their collapse was that it was a part-timer, Williamson, who took the most wickets – 3 for 22.
It completed a highly satisfying series win for New Zealand after their torrid tours of India and Australia. One that might not have happened if the selectors hadn’t thawed Broom out of ice. He had to wait six years to restart his ODI career, but ended 2016 with a maiden century that proved match-winning on a day bathed in sunshine, and on a pitch slower than normal at Saxton Oval, New Zealand struggled to bat at their usual high tempo.
Only Broom applied himself to any effect. He was particularly good driving through extra cover and used the sweep liberally – both shots were used to upset the spinners. His team was nine down when he was on 99, but Trent Boult hung in there just long enough and Broom finished unbeaten on 109 off 106 balls with eight fours and three sixes.
The rest of the New Zealand batting line-up faltered with Martin Guptill falling leg-before to Mashrafe in the first over. Kane Williamson was dismissed for 17 by Taskin Ahmed for the second time in as many games and the Boxing Day centurion Tom Latham, was lbw for 22.
Broom and James Neesham added 51 runs for the fourth wicket before the latter was stumped for 28, giving wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan his first ODI dismissal. Munro, another hero from Christchurch, lasted six balls before Mashrafe got one to scythe between his bat and pad and hit the top of off-stump. Luke Ronchi added 64 for the sixth wicket with Broom to push the total past 200 and in the end, it proved more than enough.