Afif Hossain’s valiant effort with the bat went in vain as Bangladesh conceded a 27-run thrashing against New Zealand in the fifth and last T20 international at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka on Friday.
Afif smashed unbeaten 49 off 33 balls with two fours and three sixes but the Tigers could only manage to score 134-8 in their stipulated overs after the visitors posted 161-5 in the series-ending clash.
Bangladesh’s four changes before going into the last match also aided them well as skipper Tom Latham’s unbeaten 50 off 37 balls and opener Finn Allen’s 41 off 24 balls guided the visitors to a massive total after they opted to bat first.
The Tigers, however, couldn’t demonstrate the same sort of batting effort which the visitors’ batters did after getting a better T20 surface in Mirpur as they eventually fell short of the target.
Despite suffering the defeat in the last match, Bangladeshi players celebrated with the series trophy as they won the series by a 3-2 margin.
“Disappointed at losing, but they played well, got a good score which we couldn't chase down, but happy to have won the series,” Mahmudullah said after the match.
Liton Das (10), Soumya Sarkar (four) and Mohammad Naim (23) all failed to give Bangladesh a decent start in the big run-chase while Mushfiqur Rahim (three) continued his poor batting form that limited the Tigers to 46-4 in the ninth over.
Shamim Hossain (two), who got the opportunity for the first time in the series in place of Mahedi Hasan failed to make his mark in the match along with Soumya, who replaced Shakib Al Hasan.
Kiwi left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel claimed 2-21 to finish with the highest 10 wickets in the series.
New Zealand earlier made a flying start as Allen and Rachin Ravindra (17) put up 58 runs in the opening stand with Finn smashing four fours and three sixes within the power-play.
Pacer Shoriful Islam, who came in place of Mustafizur Rahman, conceded 19 runs in the first over but he later dismissed both the openers in his next over to bring some respite in the innings.
However, Latham continued his good work with the bat and completed his second fifty in the series while Henry Nicholls (20) and Cole McConchie (17 not out) played late cameos that helped the visitors post the highest innings total at the venue this year.
“It’s great to finish the tour on a high, we were able to place all the pieces together after coming close in the first four games of the series. It was a good surface, the openers set the platform, they played with freedom and allowed the middle-order to take their time and finish well in the back-end,” Latham said.
Latham (highest 159 runs in the series) was adjudged player of the match while he shared the player of the series award with Bangladesh’s Nasum Ahmed (eight wickets).