Dubai: The final fixture of the triangular One-Day International series being played in Ireland has no real import in terms of the tournament itself, with New Zealand having won the title with one game to spare.
Bangladesh, its opponents on Wednesday (May 24), will end up second, no matter what, and the home side will finish bottom with only two points from a rain-spoilt opening game against Bangladesh.
But the two teams facing off have the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 to worry about, and would hope to put on as good a show as possible before getting down to the important business.
New Zealand, as Jimmy Neesham said earlier in the script, wants to go through the tri-series unbeaten in keeping with their top-dog status among the three teams in the mix. Bangladesh, superior to Ireland but short of the standards set by New Zealand, will want to sign off with a win at the Clontarf Cricket Club in Dublin to add to its confidence.
Bangladesh has looked the part, especially in its second game against Ireland which it won by eight wickets with 137 balls left in the chase of 182. Mustafizur Rahman led the way with the ball, returning 4 for 23 from nine overs, while the other bowlers, pacers and spinners alike, did their bit.
Tamim Iqbal, who has been in good nick, scored 47 in the chase, while Soumya Sarkar’s unbeaten 87 in 68 balls and a 34-ball 35 from Sabbir Rahman were excellent portents for Bangladesh.
Mustafizur’s performance, coming on the back of 2 for 33 in the earlier game against New Zealand following a stint with Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League spent mainly on the bench, would also have made Mashrafe Mortaza and the team management happy.
New Zealand, meanwhile, has looked good without being too spectacular in the absence of some of its big names, who were occupied with the IPL.
Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill, Colin de Grandhomme, Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Mitchell McClenaghan and Adam Milne, all of whom are in the squad for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, were allowed to give the start of the tri-series a miss, and the fact that New Zealand has won all their three games so far without that firepower around should come as a major boost.
Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), Imrul Kayes, Mahmudullah, Mehedi Hasan, Mosaddek Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mustafizur Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Nurul Hasan, Rubel Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Shafiul Islam, Shakib Al Hasan, Soumya Sarkar, Subashis Roy, Sunzamul Islam, Tamim Iqbal, Taskin Ahmed.
New Zealand: Tom Latham (capt), Hamish Bennett, Neil Broom, Scott Kuggeleijn, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Jeetan Patel, Seth Rance, Luke Ronchi (wk), Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, George Worker, Corey Anderson, Adam Milne, Matt Henry.
Stats and trivia
In 16 attempts, Bangladesh have never defeated New Zealand in an ODI outside home
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Start time 10.45 local (0945 GMT)