Despite an improved performance from Bangladesh, New Zealand wrapped up the three-match T20I series with a convincing win at the University Oval in Dunedin on Sunday (December 4). After a slight hiccup with the bat, Amelia Kerr and Maddy Green helped the hosts to a competitive total and then an all-round effort in the field made sure that Bangladesh were nowhere in the game during the chase.
Opting to bat first once again, Sophie Devine and Suzie Bates started with caution as Bangladesh bowled much better compared to the opening T20I. Debutant Marufa Akter was the most impressive of the bowlers as she brought the ball back in consistently with her whippy action.
Although Devine found three boundaries off Jahanara Alam, New Zealand openers struggled against the 17-year-old Marufa. She was eventually rewarded with the wicket of Devine in the fourth over and added one more scalp to her name in the sixth over when she trapped Georgia Plimmer in front of the wicket. New Zealand ended the power play on 36 for 2 with Marfua’s figures reading 10 for 2 at this moment.
Bates and debutant Rebecca Burns tried to resurrect the innings with a 34-run stand even as boundaries were hard to come by. Burns managed to hit a couple of boundaries even as Bates struggled to get a move on. With both of them falling in a small interval, New Zealand were in some strife with the score reading 71 for 4 in 11.5 overs.
That’s when Maddy Green joined Amelia Kerr and the duo took their time at the start and ran hard between the wickets. Green started with a three and Kerr also found one in the 13th over. In the same over Green hit Rumana Ahmed for a boundary to break the shackles.
With the score reading 102 for 4 at the end of the sixth over, New Zealand needed a strong finish and the duo provided the hosts with exactly that. Kerr first swept Salma Khatun strongly for a four and two more boundaries came in Marfua’s final over.
But it was the final over bowled by Alam that gave White Ferns the final flourish. After Green took on the pacer for a couple of fours at the start of the over, Kerr thumped Alam down the track before paddle scooping the next bowl for another boundary. New Zealand eventually finished on 148 for 4 thanks to the unbeaten 77-run partnership.
After a significantly improved bowling performance, Bangladesh set out to chase 149 to level the series. However, the batting started in very similar way to the first game and Murshida Khatun fell early when Fran Jonas got one past the left-hander and Green pulled off a good stumping.
Dilara Akter was stuck at the crease and couldn’t even rotate the strike. That pressure eventually resulted in her getting run out after Sharmin Akhter hit one straight to point and called Dilara for a run. Lauren Down got the throw spot on to remove the batter with a direct hit.
Even as Sharmin struggled at the other end, Nigar Sultana played a few shots facing up to the varied attack the home side dished out. One thump against Devine down the ground for a four was particularly impressive. However, a miscommunication led to Sharmin’s run out to end the 45-run partnership. Another run out saw Sultana walk back as well in the 16th over.
Post the dismissal of the skipper, Bangladesh lost wickets in a clutter and fell way short of the target. For New Zealand,
Brief Scores: New Zealand 148/4 in 20 overs (Amelia Kerr 46*, Maddy Green 37*; Marufa Akter 2/22) beat Bangladesh 111/8 in 20 overs (Nigar Sultana 31, Sharmin Akhter 22; Hayley Jensen 2/12) by 37 runs POTM: Amelia Kerr