Tigers fail to contain McCullum
Brendon McCullum became the first player to score two centuries in Twenty20 internationals as New Zealand got their World Twenty20 campaign off to a fine start with a 59-run win against Bangladesh.
The wicketkeeper-batsman, who made 116 not out against Australia in 2010, surpassed that with a format-best 123 off just 58 balls to help the Black Caps to 191 for three.
In reply only Nasir Hossain’s spirited half-century provided any meaningful resistance as Bangladesh trudged to 132 for eight at Pallekele. Kyle Mills and Tim Southee, whose four overs cost just 16, shared six wickets.
Having decided to field, Tigers skipper Mushfiqur Rahim must have felt that choice was going to be vindicated when Martin Guptill was bowled by Abdur Razzak in the fourth over for 11 - but it only brought McCullum to the crease.
Having dispatched Mashrafe Mortaza and Shafiul Islam to the cover boundary, the 30-year-old right-hander thumped a flat six off Shakib Al Hasan to the same region.
The next maximum was a towering effort over long-on off the same bowler, while partner James Franklin got in on the act with a straight six off Elias Sunny.
McCullum pulled Ziaur Rahman to the midwicket fence to bring up his fifty, then accelerated brutally despite Franklin holing out at deep midwicket off Mortaza on 35.
First, McCullum smashed a Mortaza short ball for a straight six, then clubbed consecutive fours off Sunny to reach three figures before celebrating with an enormous six down the ground. His 51-ball ton was only bettered in this format by Chris Gayle’s 50-delivery effort at the 2007 World T20.
There were more fireworks in the final over as Razzak was launched long over deep midwicket prior to a slog-sweep that only just stayed in the ground, although the bowler gained a smidgen of revenge when McCullum was caught at deep point off the final ball of the innings.
The Bangladesh reply began badly as Tamim Iqbal slapped Mills straight to cover with the score on nought.
Shakib’s disappointing match continued as he chipped Mills to Kane Williamson at cover-point and, although Mohammad Ashraful played some nice shots off the back foot en route to 21, he and Mushfiqur fell in quick succession to leave Bangladesh reeling on 33 for four.
Hossain and Mahmudullah provided some resistance with a 50-run partnership but the latter fell to Nathan McCullum when he picked out Williamson at long-on.
Hossain chopped Southee to the third-man boundary to reach 50 but Bangladesh’s faint hopes evaporated when Guptill took a fine catch at long-on in the same over to end his resistance.