CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand: Career-best innings by Tom Latham and Colin Munro and a valuable bowling cameo by allrounder James Neesham propelled New Zealand to a 77-run win over Bangladesh in the first one-day cricket international on Monday and a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Latham batted 47.3 overs for 137, beating his previous-best score and his only other century in one-day internationals of 110, while Munro scored 87 from 61 balls to eclipse his best of 85, also against Bangladesh, in 2013.
The fifth wicket partnership between the pair of 158 lifted New Zealand to 341-7 after it won the toss, beating by three runs its previous best score against Bangladesh in ODIs and matching its highest total on Hagley Oval.
Neesham then took 3-36 as New Zealand held Bangladesh to 264-9 to maintain its unbeaten record in one-day internationals against Bangladesh in New Zealand. Bangladesh has won the last seven matches between the teams on its home soil. The visitors’ innings ended after 44.5 overs, with Mushfiqur Rahim having retired hurt with a hamstring strain on 42.
Shakib Al Hasan produced an outstanding allround performance for Bangladesh as their best bowler with 3-69 and their best batsman with 59 from 54 balls.
“Obviously we had a very, very good first half with a number of very good partnerships to get a score like that,” New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said. “One bloke, Tommy Latham, went on to get a big hundred which was a great knock and the backbone of our innings.
“Colin’s was an extremely mature innings at that stage and a partnership which was really, really important.”
Man-of-the-match Latham offered stability that was lacking when New Zealand was swept 3-0 in its most recent one-day series in Australia.
New Zealand didn’t always seem on course for the score it finally produced. When Shaqib picked up the wickets in quick succession of Neil Broom, out for 22 in his first one-day international in six years, and Neesham, for 12, New Zealand was vulnerable at 158-4 in the 29th over.
But Latham scored steadily and provided the foundation from which Munro launched his more aggressive attack on the Bangladesh bowlers.
Bangladesh may have been slightly under-prepared for the match, having played only one warmup match against a New Zealand selection ahead of this series. Still, the match was closer than it appeared. After 30 overs Bangladesh was 159-5 where New Zealand had been only slightly better placed at 168-4. The difference was the lack of a foundation innings like Latham’s and an outright slogger like Munro.
Shakib’s top score of the innings contained five fours and two sixes. Mosaddek Hossain made a gallant unbeaten 50 near the end.
“It’s disappointing,” Bangladesh captain Masrafe Mortaza said. “The bowling unit allowed 40 runs too many, otherwise it could have been different.
“I think the top order also has to step up a little bit more.”