Mahmudullah's 43 not out leads Bangladesh to 6-wicket win over NZ

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Dhaka, Sep 8 (IANS) Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah hit an unbeaten 43 to lead his team to a six-wicket victory over New Zealand in the fourth T20I in Dhaka on Wednesday. The victory now gives Bangladesh an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match T20I series. It is their first-ever series win over New Zealand in T20Is.

Opting to bat first, New Zealand were bowled out for 93 in 19.3 overs. Bangladesh overhauled the target with five balls to spare and six wickets in hand.

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Left-arm spinner Nasum Ahmed dismissed Rachin Ravindra (0) in the very first over of New Zealand’s innings. Finn Allen (12) tried to be creative with the bat with a switch hit, but spooned a catch to point.

Captain Tom Latham (21) and Will Young (46) tried to resurrect the New Zealand innings with a 35-run partnership. Latham danced down the pitch, only to be beaten by Mahedi Hasan’s turn and was stumped by keeper Nurul Hasan.

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Henry Nicholls (1) and Colin de Grandhomme (0) were dismissed on consecutive deliveries by Ahmed, making this difficult for the tourists. Bangladesh kept striking at regular intervals to keep New Zealand on a tight leash. Ahmed and Mustafizur Rahman were the standout performers with the ball, grabbing four wickets each. Ahmed ran through the top and middle order while Rahman took out Young and the tail to end New Zealand’s misery at 93 in 19.3 overs.

Chasing a small total of 94, Bangladesh lost Liton Das (6), Shakib Al Hasan (8) and Mushfiqur Rahim (0) quickly with scorecard reading 32/3 in 6 overs. A brief 35-run partnership Mohammad Naim (29) and Mahmudullah resurrected the chase before the former was run-out while running for the second run.

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But Mahmudullah made sure his team crossed the finish line in the final over. The experienced batsman survived a stumping chance in the 17th over as Latham couldn’t gather the ball. After a powerful six over cow corner off Blair Tickner in the 19th over, Mahmudullah closed the chase with a slog sweep through mid-wicket on the first ball of the final over off Cole McConchie.

The final match of the T20I series will be played on Friday.

Brief scores: Bangladesh 96/4 in 19.1 overs (Mahmudullah 43 not out, Mohammad Naim 29, Ajaz Patel 2/9, Cole McConchie 1/34) beat New Zealand 93 all out in 19.3 overs (Will Young 46, Tom Latham 21, Nasum Ahmed 4/10, Mustafizur Rahaman 4/ 12) by six wickets.

–IANS

nr/bsk

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