New Zealand 289 for 7 (Guptill 105, Shakib 4-55) beat Bangladesh 288 for 7 (Mahmudullah 128*, Soumya 51) by three wickets
A Martin Guptill hundred guided New Zealand completed their sixth win in six group-stage games with a thrilling victory over Bangladesh.
Following Bangladesh’s victory against England, their match against New Zealand ultimately proved to be a dead rubber. However, the match ended up being having another nail-biting finish to add to this exciting World Cup.
Mahmudullah scored the first World Cup century by a Bangladesh batsman in his sides previous match against England and they didn’t have to wait long for their second century.
It was Mahmudullah again who bettered his innings against England as he saw off the best new-ball pair in the tournament and fought off insects on his way to 128. Mahmudullah came in with his side 27-2 in the tenth over as Imrul Kayes and Tamim Iqbal were dismissed by Trent Boult.
Boult’s opening six overs cost just 19 with two wickets to his name before Mahmudullah took 17 off one over, despite presenting two catchable chances in doing so.
Mahmudullah was at the crease with Soumya Sarkar who has established himself as a batsman of high promise during the tournament thus far and he impressed against with a classy half-century before attempting to loft spinner Daniel Vettori out of the ground but could only the safe hands of Corey Anderson at long-on.
The Bangladeshi batsman then joined Mahmudullah for promising, if not, substantial partnerships as Shakib Al Hasan (23) and Mushfiqur Rahim (15) added 70 with Mahmudullah before both falling victim to Corey Anderson.
Sabbir Rahman blazed a 23-ball 40 in a partnership of 78 in ten overs to guide Bangladesh to a competitive total of 288; the highest total New Zealand had conceded thus far in the tournament.
Brendon McCullum, who had earlier given the New Zealand public a scare after seemingly suffering a hand injury attempting to stop a four, has been the catalyst in the tournament for his country and has got off to exceptionally quick starts.
However, Shakib, captain for the day following the absence of Mashrafe Mortaza, opened thebowling with two left-arm spinners which ultimately worked as McCullum lofted him to deep long-off. McCullum was swiftly followed by Kane Williamson for one as Shakib took the second of his four wickets.
Guptill was joined by Ross Taylor as they attempted to rebuild the innings and the 131-run partnership kept New Zealand in the chase and established a solid platform for their lower-order hitters. Guptill scored 105 in the 100 balls he faced before he fell to Shakib attempting a six over long-on.
Taylor struggled during his innings. He faced 97 deliveries for 5 before falling in the 45th over. Luckily, he had the hitting power of Grant Elliott (39 from 34) and Corey Anderson (39 from 26) to ensure New Zealand stayed alongside the run-rate.
When Anderson fell, bowled by Nasir Hossain with the score on 269 and 20 still needed from the final 16 balls, Bangladesh were eyeing another famous victory.
However, Daniel Vettori and Tim Southee guided their country over the line to the relief of the Hamilton crowd as the latter hit Shakib for a six and a four to end the game.
New Zealand finished top of the group and will wait to see the outcome of the Pakistan v Ireland game to see who they will be facing in the quarter-finals whereas Bangladesh will likely come up against India.