Saturday, June 10, 2017

ICC Champions Trophy 2017 : New Zealand vs Bangladesh

New Zealand vs Bangladesh at Cardiff was expected to be a nail biter, as nothing less than a win was necessary for both the teams to stay in contention for the semis. 

Williamson won the toss & elected to bat. on a pitch which had seen rains n the morning - strange decision, as in such conditions, its better to chase & benefit for D/L methods. 
Anyways, the Kiwis innings started on a sedate note, with Ronchi & Guptill watchful in the opening overs. However, the bowlers kept a disciplined line & length, not allowing batsmen to freeze arms, & runs did not really flow. Ronchi got out first in the 8th over & Guptill too left in the 13th over, both getting a start, but not capitalising & it was again left to Williamson & Taylor to construct a partnership - they carried the score to 152 in the 30th over, before Williamson was run out brilliantly for a well made 57 by Shakib, & the Kiwis lost momentum. Taylor too got his half century, while Broom & Neesahm made some vital contributions, but the runs were difficult to come by & finally they ended quota of 50 overs with a total of 265 runs for 8 wickets. - certainly not a par total, with last 10 overs of slogging resulting in only 62 runs for 4 wickets. The middle order again faltering for the Kiwis in the tournament. 

The Bangladesh knew that chase would be no cake walk against this Kiwi attack, but they had in form Tamim, raring to go. But the start was disastrous, with Tamim getting LBW in the first over itself for a duck. Tim Southee was on fire & claimed three quick wickets, & Milne got Mushfiqur cheaply, leaving Bangladesh reeling at 33 for 4 in the 12th over. It looked all over for Bangladesh at that stage, when Shakib & Mahmudullah came to the crease. Both settled the nerves on crease as well as in the dressing room, playing sensible cricket. Slowly but steadily they gathered momentum to get one of the best partnerships stitched for 224 runs. Both got to well deserved hundreds, as Bangladesh eased to a very important victory with 16 deliveries to spare. Shakib gave away his wicket after getting to his century, but Mahmudullah carried his bat till the end, to knock the Kiwis out of the tournament - the first team to be so. The game was well fought, probably the first evenly balanced match of the tournament, where first Bangladesh were able to restrict the Kiwis to a manageable 265 & then New Zealand came back strongly to rock back Bangladesh in the chase, before the two heroes of the match slowly but surely took the Bengal Tigers home to victory. Shakib was named the Man of Match. 
This would certainly go down as another upset in this tournament, third in a row, as Bangladesh will now look forward to tomorrow's game between England & Australia, praying for the home team to win, which would allow them to sneak into the semis.