Bangladesh 93 for 4 (Mahmudullah 43*, Naim 29, Patel 2-9) beat New Zealand 93 (Young 46, Nasum 4-10, Mustafizur 4-12) by six wickets
Dhaka: The Bangladesh bowlers first came up with a sizzling performance with the ball to restrict the visitors to 93 all out, before skipper Mahmud Ullah's unbeaten 43 helped them take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series.
Opting to bat first, New Zealand had the worst possible start, losing opener Rachin Ravindra in the very first over. Against Nasum Ahmed, he attempted a sweep shot but top-edged it over the square leg fielder. He went back without troubling the scorers, with the visitors losing their first wicket without a run on the board. His opening partner Finn Allen would depart soon after, attempting an outrageous shot against Ahmed, to be out for 12.
With the spinners getting heavy perches off the pitch, the New Zealand batters were in all sorts of trouble, trying to rotate the strike and up the ante.
Tom Latham and Will Young then had a steady partnership, taking the Kiwis past the 50-run mark in the 10th over. But just as they were finding their rhythm, skipper Latham was stumped off the bowling of Mahedi Hasan by keeper Nurul Hasan for 21.
Nasum Ahmed would continue his brilliant performance during the contest, first bowling Henry Nicholls on 1. He then followed it immediately with the scalp of Colin de Grandhomme, whose torrid time in the series continued, as the visitors found themselves reeling at 52/5 after 11 overs. Ahmed would end with exceptional figures of 4/10 in his four overs.
A pacer finally struck for the home side after 15.2 overs, as Mustafizur Rahman induced a big shot off Tom Blundell but was caught at mid-on on 4. Rahman would then pull off a brilliant caught and bowled in the same over to dismiss Cole McConchie for a duck.
Mohammad Saifuddin would then york Ajaz Patel for 4, leaving the visitors with a major task to cross the 100-run mark in their quota of 20 overs. Young would also depart in the final over bowled by Mustafizur, trying to land some lusty blows after a well-made 46. It would be back-to-back scalps for the pacer, as he dismissed Blair Tickner for 2, as the visitors were bowled out for 93. Mustafizur would end with brilliant figures of 4/12.
In reply, the hosts did not have the best of starts chasing the score down. The introduction of Will McConchie in the third over, did the trick as Finn Allen pulled off a terrific catch to bring an end to Liton Das' knock on 6.
After a brief partnership between Mohammad Naim and Shakib Al Hasan, the latter would walk back to the pavilion as well. Premeditating his shot, Shakib charged down the track but some clever piece of bowling by Ajaz Patel led to his stumping on 8. Patel would deliver another massive blow in the same over, bowling Mushfiqur Rahim for a duck to leave the contest wide open.
The rebuilding job was now left up to Mohammad Naim and skipper Mahmud Ullah. And the pair did exactly that, stitching together a vital partnership of 34 runs to edge Bangladesh ever so close to yet another historic series victory at home. They could not take the hosts home though as Naim was run out on 29, with the score at 69/4.
Mahmud Ullah and Afif Hossain kept their nerves though, as the hosts chased the target down with six wickets remaining to take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series. The skipper top-scored in the innings with a crucial knock of 43*.