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Black Caps dismissed for 60 as they lose to Bangladesh for the first time in T20 cricket

Second-string Black Caps no match for their hosts, equalling their lowest T20 total in the series opener.

It’s fair to say there weren’t any great expectations placed on the second-string Black Caps side sent to Bangladesh to play five Twenty20 internationals this month.

But it still came as a shock – and a disappointment – when they were dismissed for 60 in the series opener at Shere Bangla National Stadium on Wednesday night.

Needing just three runs per over, Bangladesh were able to be cautious, and while they lost a couple of wickets early, they chased down their target with seven wickets in hand and 30 balls to spare.

Bangladesh seamer Mohammad Saifuddin celebrates the wicket of Black Caps captain Tom Latham.

Shamsul Haque Tanku/Photosport

Bangladesh seamer Mohammad Saifuddin celebrates the wicket of Black Caps captain Tom Latham.

It was their first win over New Zealand in the 11th T20 match between the two nations and came after they beat Australia 4-1 in a series at the same venue in August where slow, spin-friendly surfaces meant low totals were the norm.

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None were as low back then as the Black Caps’ 60, which equalled their record low in T20 cricket and came after they slumped to 9-4 inside the powerplay, mistiming shots on a pitch that offered plenty of turn and bounce.

Captain Tom Latham combined with Henry Nicholls for a partnership of 34 off 41 balls which righted things somewhat, but once he was caught top-edging a ball down the leg side from Mohammad Saifuddin that should have been put away, the Black Caps lost their last five wickets while adding just 17 more runs.

Latham and Nicholls both made 18, off 25 and 24 balls respectively, but no-one else passed five and the next-highest partnership was worth just six.

Promising young batsman Rachin Ravindra was dismissed off the first ball he faced in international cricket, just as his Wellington Firebirds team-mate Finn Allen was against the same opposition earlier this year, offering Mahedi Hasan a simple return catch after he rushed through his shot.

Fellow debutant Cole McConchie also made a duck, off three balls, but he and Ravindra did at least finish with a wicket apiece to give them something to remember from their maiden outings.

Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and his team-mates celebrate the wicket of Will Young.

Shamsul Haque Tanku/Photosport

Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and his team-mates celebrate the wicket of Will Young.

When Latham completed a tidy stumping off the bowling of Ajaz Patel to dismiss Liton Das for one in the third over, Bangladesh were 7-2, and there was a faint hope of a comeback.

But Shakib Al Hasan played a calm innings from there, making 25 off 33 before he was caught behind cutting Ravindra with the finish line in sight.

The Black Caps bowled 12 overs of spin and just three of seam as Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah made 16 and 14 not out to steer their side home at the end of the 15th over.

Patel took 1-7 off his four overs but McConchie (1-19) and Ravindra (1-21) weren’t anywhere near as miserly.

The scoreboard shows the Black Caps all out for 60.

Shamsul Haque Tanku/Photosport

The scoreboard shows the Black Caps all out for 60.

The seamers in the playing XI – Doug Bracewell, Jacob Duffy, and Blair Tickner – bowled just three overs between them.

Four more – Hamish Bennett, Matt Henry, Scott Kuggeleijn, and potential debutant Ben Sears – are in the wider squad, and on the evidence of Wednesday, they will need to practice their cutters if they are to make an impact.

Latham has less than 48 hours to rally his troops for Friday’s second match [first ball 10pm NZ time], where they will be hoping their first look at the conditions will have put them in a better position to succeed.

“We just kept losing wickets at crucial times really,” was how he summed it up at the post-match presentation.

“It was certainly hard to start. We knew it was going to be a challenge. We’d prepared for this, but unfortunately we couldn’t quite put it together today.”

The Black Caps squad in Bangladesh contains none of the players selected for the T20 World Cup in October and November, as NZ Cricket is managing its players’ welfare and workloads amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

Black Caps v Bangladesh – first T20 international

Black Caps 60 all out in 16.5 overs (Mustafizur Rahman 3-13) lost to Bangladesh 62-3 in 15 overs by seven wickets.

Bangladesh lead the five-match series 1-0.

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