The BLACKCAPS Champions Trophy campaign came to and end in Cardiff on Friday, after a prodigious partnership from Shakib al Hasan and Mahmudullah saw Bangladesh chase down their 266 run target.
The Bangladesh pair entered the run chase at 33-4 and proceeded to pile on 227 runs together - the second highest partnership in the tournament's history.
Probably more surprising than him bringing up his third consecutive half-century was captain Kane Williamson winning his third toss in a row. Notoriously terrible at the flip of the coin, Williamson once again gained the luxury of choosing the BLACKCAPS first task - a bat please umpire.
Usual story. Half-centuries to Williamson (57) and Ross Taylor (63), after Martin Guptill (33) assured the BLACKCAPS a bright start to their innings (33). All of them will be disappointed they didn’t capitalise on their start, but their efforts assured the BLACKCAPS they’d at least put up something defendable.
The BLACKCAPS are yet to nail the death stages with the bat and that remained the case on Friday. At 203-4 the BLACKCAPS had a pleasing base to accelerate from, but boundaries were elusive in the final stages. The final overs saw just 62 runs added, with four wickets falling in the process. Not the desired return from the middle and lower order.
Tim Southee terrorised the Bangladesh top order with swing and seam early in the innings. The senior seamer struck with the second ball, trapping the red-hot Tamim Qual lbw for a duck. Two further quick wickets from Southee had Bangladesh reeling at 12-3, with Trent Boult keeping things tight at the other end. Such was the pressure being applied that 48 of the 60 balls in the opening power play were dots.
As Southee breathed fire early on, Boult kept the pressure on and Adam Milne knocked over the castle of Musfiqur Rahim. At 33-4, the 266 looked a long way away for Bangladesh.
In years gone by Bangladesh would have probably rolled over. Not this team. It took two experienced heads in Mahmudullah and Shakib al Hasan to fight their way back into the match - and eventually snatch an unlikely victory. A Bangladesh record partnership of 227 had the BLACKCAPS searching for answers and none were forthcoming. Two masterful centuries to the aforementioned in what will go down as a great day in Bangladesh cricket.
RUN-OUT. Williamson has to go for 57. Taylor turned one around the corner to find Kane halfway down & he couldn't turn around in time 152-3 pic.twitter.com/OvFrUkLJlK— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) June 9, 2017
First power play done and dusted and the BLACKCAPS are 60-1 after 10 overs #CT17#NZvBAN ^CE pic.twitter.com/ytoyouTeGu— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) June 9, 2017