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New Zealand eye Bangladesh series win ahead of World Cup

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New Zealand wrap up preparations for the upcoming ICC World Cup 2023 hoping to achieve a rare series win in Bangladesh in their third and final one-day match on Tuesday.

“When we came into the series, it was always a goal to win every match you play, and we certainly hope so,” Kiwi batsman Henry Nicholls told reporters in Dhaka on Monday.

“It’s an exciting opportunity for the group to have an opportunity to win a series here”.

The series is the last for both teams ahead of the ICC World Cup 2023 in India, which opens on October 5.

The Kiwis lead the hosts by 1-0, and their 86-run win in the second match on Saturday was the side’s first win against Bangladesh in the country in nearly 15 years. The first match was washed out by rain.

The Kiwis last beat Bangladesh in their own backyard in October 2008. They then lost the next two series in 2010 and 2013, respectively, by 4-0 and 3-0.

Lockie Ferguson will lead the Kiwis in Bangladesh, where they brought only five members of the World Cup squad, including the stand-in skipper, pacer Trent Boult, all-rounder Rachin Ravindra, spinner Ish Sodhi and batsman Will Young.

Bangladesh initially rested key players, but with the series at stake, they brought back stalwarts Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taskin Ahmed and Shoriful Islam.

Najmul was named captain of the side for the series decider, as regular captain Shakib Al Hasan took a break.

Liton Das, who led in the first two matches, is being rested.

“If we win this game, definitely it will give the team a good feeling,” Najmul said. “But in case of a bad result, I don’t think it will affect our World Cup form much”.

Bangladesh were unbeaten at home in ODI series for nearly seven years until they lost to England and Afghanistan this year.

READ: Pakistan to face Bhutan in SAFF U19 Championship semi-final

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