Guptill deepens Bangladesh misery
New Zealand completed a whitewash of Bangladesh in the one-day series with a three-wicket victory at AMI Stadium in Christchurch.
Having enjoyed comfortable wins in the opening two matches, the hosts were made to work appreciably harder for their victory after Bangladesh posted 241 for nine, thanks largely to Imrul Kayes’ maiden one-day century.
New Zealand showed improvement in their death bowling to restrict Bangladesh to 50 from the last 10 overs.
But what should have been a regulation run-chase developed into something of a nervy climax as the hosts slipped from a comfortable 195 for five to 210 for seven - still requiring 32 runs to win, albeit in more than 10 overs.
Two quick wickets from all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, who finished with 4-33 from 10 overs, had given Bangladesh hope.
First the left-arm spinner enticed Martin Guptill to hole out nine runs short of his second one-day century, then bowled Neil Broom for 18 before taking a smart catch to end Jacob Oram’s stay.
But James Franklin, batting with a runner because of a bruised heel, and Ian Butler hit 18 and 13 not out respectively to carry New Zealand home with 5.1 overs to spare.
Opener Kayes, playing his 10th one-day international, hit 11 fours on his way to 101 off 138 balls before falling to a Daniel Vettori yorker in the 48th over of the Bangladesh innings.
The 23-year-old was well supported by Mohammad Ashraful's 31 and 36 from captain Shakib, with whom he added 84 for the fourth wicket.
However, once Shakib departed - skying Tim Southee to Ross Taylor at midwicket - the Bangladesh innings fell away.
Southee had Naeem Islam caught at deep point as he recorded figures of 3-37, while skipper Vettori finished with 3-42 from 10 typically economical overs.
Guptill’s classy 91, which contained a clutch of lovely drives down the ground, was the highlight of the Black Caps' reply.
Rubel Hossain came in for early punishment as Guptill picked off three successive boundaries in his third over, although the seamer did have the consolation of claiming the early wicket of Brendon McCullum, whose lean spell continues.
Guptill never relaxed the pace despite Peter Ingram and Ross Taylor falling in quick succession in Shakib’s first spell.
Instead, he and Vettori counter-attacked in style as Bangladesh’s fielding once again let them down.
Vettori was dropped twice, on six and on 26, in the middle of a blistering assault that saw him take 14 off three balls from Mahmudullah before holing out at deep midwicket next ball.
That left New Zealand 160 for four and, despite the late wobble, sparked by Guptill’s departure in the 35th over - caught at long-off off Shabib - they wrapped up a third successive win and left Bangladesh still searching for the first victory of the tour.
They have one more chance - in the one-off Test at Hamilton, which starts on Monday.