CHENNAI: Returning Kane Williamson and Daryl Mitchell scored anchoring half-centuries after a combined effort from the bowlers to steer New Zealand to a convincing eight-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the ICC World Cup 2023.
New Zealand completed the 246-run pursuit in 42.5 overs when Daryl Mitchell clubbed Shoriful Islam for a six over deep midwicket.
The 2019 finalists had a shaky start to the run chase as they struggled against Bangladesh pacers with in-form Rachin Ravindra (9) perishing in the third over with just 12 runs on the board.
Skipper Williamson joined Devon Conway at the crease following the debacle and anchored the run chase.
The pair batted sensibly to add 80 runs to the total before Shakib Al Hasan got rid of Conway in the 21st over.
He contributed significantly for New Zealand with a 59-ball 45, hitting three boundaries.
Williamson then joined forces with Mitchell and the duo put New Zealand in complete command.
They put together a 108-run stand for the third wicket, which ended when Williamson walked off the field after sustaining a blow to his left-hand thumb.
He scored 78 in 107 deliveries with the help of eight boundaries and a six.
Mitchell spearheaded New Zealand’s pursuit after Williamson’s departure and powered his side to glory with 43 balls to spare.
He remained unbeaten with a quickfire 89. His 67-ball knock included six boundaries and four sixes.
For Bangladesh, Mustafizur Rahman and Shakib could pick up a wicket apiece.
Watch ICC World Cup 2023 Live on ARY ZAP
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, who made his long-awaited return after a six-month hiatus due to an injury, invited Bangladesh to bat after winning the toss.
New Zealand bowlers justified their captain’s decision and reduced Bangladesh to 56-4 in the 13th over, after a 40-run partnership between Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Tanzid Hasan for the second wicket.
Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim then stitched a 96-run stand for the fifth wicket to drag the total to 152.
Lockie Ferguson broke the stand when Shakib Al Hasan attempted to hit back-to-back sixes but failed and was caught behind by Tom Latham.
He scored 40 off 51, with the help of three boundaries and two sixes.
Mushfiqur Rahim on the other end scored an anchoring 66, featuring six boundaries and two sixes before being castled by Matt Henry.
Mahmudullah and Taskin Ahmed then added a valuable 34 runs for the eighth wicket until the latter swept Santner straight to deep backward square.
Meanwhile, Mahmudullah stayed till the end to push the total to 245-9 in their accumulated 50 overs.
His 49-ball 41 featured two boundaries and as many sixes.
Lockie Ferguson topped the bowling charts for New Zealand with figures of 3-49, while Trent Boult and Matt Henry picked two wickets.