After India won the series, Martin Guptill roared back to run-making with his 15th hundred in ODIs, helping New Zealand win the first match in Napier by eight wickets.
Trent Boult and Mitchell Santner were the other enforcers-in-chief, both of them picking three wickets apiece to bowl Bangladesh out for a modest 232 – a score that looked beyond Bangladesh at 94/6 until Mohammad Mithun came into his own with a delightfully stout 62 off 92 balls. Bangladesh made a total of 232 runs setting up for a loss in 9 out of 10 games in the modern-day ODI ecosystem.
Mashrafe Mortaza opted to bat after Mohammed Shammi had recently shown them the how’s and whys of bowling first here, made things worse. New Zealand feasted on Bangladesh’s vulnerability in their first international innings on an overseas tour and picked four wickets inside the first 8.2 overs to leave them rattled. Boult flagged off the carnage with Tamim Iqbal’s wicket in his first over; and it came off a beautiful delivery that pitched middle, forced a drive and then straightened to take the outside edge.
Martin Guptill locked in his place in the New Zealand squad for the World Cup in England later this year with a confident, match-winning century from 116 balls which included eight boundaries and four sixes. While his selection might have been automatic in the past, Guptill was under pressure after a recent run of low scores.
Martin said the official “It feels nice but I think the most pleasing thing was the way the guys really restricted Bangladesh up front with the ball,” Guptill said. “We made them tough to get away and losing four wickets in the top 10 is hard to come back from.”
Nicholls was promoted to open during the India ODI series when Colin Munro failed to make a substantial score and was dropped, just as he has been left out of the first two matches of this series.
The New Zealand selectors had been anticipating a Guptill-Munro opening partnership, expecting it to provide the aggressive beginnings which were to be a key part of New Zealand’s World Cup strategy. Now it seems Guptill, Munro and Nicholls will be chosen to give New Zealand flexibility at the top.