Friday, 24 September, 2021

Tigers eye historic series win over Kiwis

Bangladesh will be eying to clinch their maiden T20I series victory over New Zealand when they take on the visitors in the third game of the ongoing five-match series at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka today.

The match is scheduled to start at 4:00pm and will be telecast live on T Sports.

The Tigers are currently leading the series 2-0 after winning the opening two matches over the Kiwis.

Bangladesh defeated the visitors by seven wickets in the series opener before registering a nervy four-run win in the second game after they were made to work much harder despite posting a decent 141-6 on board on Friday. The team management can take heart from the fact that openers Liton Das and Mohammad Naim did well in the last game after a while considering it was the first 50-plus opening stand after eight matches.

“It was certainly a better wicket than the previous match. There was a bit of spin and uneven bounce when we batted. It was getting better under lights,” Bangladesh skipper Mahmudullah said after the 2nd game.

“I think batting against the new ball is slightly more difficult on this wicket. The hard seam produces a lot more bounce. If you noticed during the Australia series, their openers didn’t provide good start but we had a good opening stand (in the last game),” he said.

“What Naim and Liton did today (Friday), it was pleasant to see. It was really crucial how they found the gaps to score runs. They did exactly what we needed in the power-play,” he added.

Mahmudullah will achieve a new personal milestone in today’s match as he is all set to become the first Bangladeshi cricketer to play in 100 T20Is, only eighth overall in the list.

Mushfiqur Rahim is second in the Bangladesh top list with 88 T20Is while Shakib Al Hasan is in the third spot with 86 matches.

All-rounder Shakib also can move to the top position in taking the highest number of T20I wickets if he can take two wickets during the third T20I against New Zealand.

He currently has 106 T20I wickets, only one wicket short of Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga, who holds the top position in the list. 

Meanwhile, New Zealand will try to take confidence from their second match performance and get off the mark in the ongoing five-match series.

The Kiwis put up a far better fight in the last match after their miserable show with the bat in the series opener and they will be definitely looking to come up with a better plan today in order to keep the series alive.

New Zealand top-order batsman Finn Allen, who recently tested Covid-19 negative and practised on Saturday, is likely to feature in the crucial encounter of the series.