NELSON: Ninety-somethings from Kane Williamson and Neil Broom ensured New Zealand whitewashed Bangladesh with a crushing eight-wicket victory in the third ODI in Nelson. Their fluent 179-run stand, which came after Martill Guptill had retired hurt on 6 because of a hamstring strain, helped the hosts ace their chase of 237 with 52 balls to spare.
New Zealand were also aided by poor shot selection from Bangladesh, who suffered a collapse of 7 for 77 after opting to bat on a slow surface. After Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes put on 102 for the first wicket, their middle and lower order fell away. That the visitors lasted 50 overs and reached 236 for 9 was down to rookie Nurul Hasan’s cameo of 44 off 39 balls.
Mustafizur Rahman then trapped Tom Latham in front in his first over, and Bangladesh might have sensed an opening when Guptill retired hurt for 6 at the start of the third over in the chase.
Imrul Kayes, an iffy choice at slip, then dropped a dolly and reprieved Broom on 0. Broom and Williamson combined to slam the doors on Bangladesh. After playing out a few quiet overs, Williamson kick-started the chase when he struck Shakib Al Hasan for back-to-back fours through point in the 10th over. Four overs later, the New Zealand captain lofted Shakib for a straight six.
Taskin Ahmed wasn’t spared either and was taken for back-to-back fours. Williamson moved to his fifty off 56 balls and continued to pepper the point boundary.
Broom, meanwhile, reached his fifty off 66 balls. He profited from pulls, drives, and sweeps and raced towards a second successive century. He moved into the nineties with a pulled four, but fell three short of a century when he was caught by Mashrafe at gully off Mustafizur in the 35th over.
With him needing six to reach his ninth ODI hundred and the team three for the series sweep, Williamson took a single off the first ball of the 42nd over before Jimmy Neesham completed the win with a four over mid-on.
Broom had sparkled on the field earlier in the day. He ran back from short third man and pulled off a stunning one-handed catch to send Imrul Kayes back for 44 off 62 balls. Luke Ronchi, the wicketkeeper, took a good catch and effected a crucial run out of Shakib, while Jeetan Patel, playing his first ODI after more than seven years, also made his presence felt with a fine running catch at long-off.
Sabbir Rahman had an eventful 14-ball stay in which he struck four boundaries, copped a blow on the chest, and then got strangled down the leg side. Two overs later, Mahmudullah pulled Southee to short midwicket to finish the series with only four runs, rounding off the worst ODI series of his career.
Tamim was next to go in the 31st over when Broom ran back from point and tracked a top-edged slog. The shot encapsulated his frustration; he had not scored a boundary in ten overs leading up to the dismissal. The wickets of Shakib, Mosaddek Hossain and Tanbir Hayder then hastened the collapse.
Mashrafe and Nurul negotiated the next 6.3 overs for the addition of 33 runs. The stand ended when Mashrafe holed out to long-off. Nurul, however, boosted his team with sensible batting before opening up in the slog overs. He moved Matt Henry over midwicket at the start of the last over of Bangladesh’s innings, then hooked him over square leg. He fell to an excellent return off the next ball, but proved a bright spot for Bangladesh amid the gloom in New Zealand. Agencies