Munro ton powers NZ to T20 win over Bangladesh

MOUNT MAUNGANUI, New Zealand: Colin Munro became the third New Zealander to score a Twenty20 international century as he made 101 from 54 balls to lead the hosts to a 47-run win over Bangladesh on Friday and to a winning 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

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South Africa-born Munro followed Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill to the milestone as he took his maiden century from 52 balls, guiding New Zealand to 195-7 after being sent in to bat.

Bangladesh was all out for 148 in reply, briefly threatening New Zealand’s total before faltering and losing its last wicket in the 19th over.

Munro was supported in a 123-run partnership for New Zealand’s fourth wicket by Tom Bruce who made an unbeaten 59, a maiden half century in only his second Twenty20 international. The pair steered New Zealand out of trouble after it lost stand-in opener Luke Ronchi to the first ball of the match and slumped to 46-3 in the sixth over.

“Colin’s knock…anytime you get a performance like that in Twenty20 cricket it’s very special,” New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said.

“We know he’s a stroke-maker so when he hits with that freedom we’ve seen what he can do and hopefully it continues. It was a match-winning knock and also Tom Bruce in his second match made a great contribution.”

Munro, who came to the crease with the match only one ball old, took on the bowlers from the outset, propelling New Zealand along at 10 runs per over through the first four overs.

He hit seven sixes and seven fours in an innings which set up a victory that extended New Zealand’s perfect record against Bangladesh this summer, having won all three one-dayers and also the first T20. The teams meet in two tests later this month.

Munro was especially severe on Mahmdullah in the 13th over from which he plundered 28 runs — three sixes, two fours and a two.

“I don’t really know (Tom) Bruce that well,” Munro said. “We’ve played against each other a couple of times and he’s scored a few runs so I’ve seen him play that sort of knock before.

“When he came out to the crease I just said it’s a touch slow but a good surface so hit straight and it’s a credit to him he played a great knock.”

New Zealand was pulled back in the last five overs by Bangladesh, especially by the outstanding bowling of Rubel Hossain. Rubel conceded 12 runs from his opening over but fought back strongly, dismissing Munro, Colin de Grandhomme (2) and James Neesham (5) and participating in the run out of Mitchell Santner (4). He took 3-37.

Bangladesh still faced a chase for its highest-ever Twenty20 total — exceeding its best of 190 — to win the match.

Bangladesh also lost a wicket in its first over — Imrul Kayes caught by Bruce from the bowling of the spinner Mitchell Santner — but was steadied by a 68-run partnership for the fourth wicket between Sabbir Rhaman (48) and Soumya Sarkar (39).

After 10 overs it was still well in the match at 93-3 but by the 15th over it was 136-6 and had lost the crucial wickets of Sabbir and Sarkar and had little dangerous batting remaining.

The match followed the trend of the three-match one-day series — won 3-0 by New Zealand — in which Bangladesh played itself into strong positions but failed to capitalize.

“The way Munro took all those chances and the way he batted was really good but after losing three wickets we couldn’t put enough pressure on them,” Bangladesh captain Masrafe Mortaza said. “At some stages we were very close.

“From 48 balls we needed 78 or 80 runs with six wickets in hand so we could have done a lot better.”

AP

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