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New Zealand win third T20I to square series with Bangladesh

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MOUNT MAUNGANUI: New Zealand captain Mitchell Santner took four wickets as they beat Bangladesh by 17 runs in a rain-affected third and final Twenty20 international on Sunday to draw the series 1-1.

After dismissing the tourists for 110 in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand’s top-order collapsed to 49-5 before Jimmy Neesham and Santner recovered to reach 95-5 off 14.4 overs.

When heavy rain halted play, the Black Caps were comfortably ahead of the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) target, thanks largely to an unbeaten 28 from all-rounder Neesham.

The result denied Bangladesh a first series victory on New Zealand soil in any format, having lost the preceding ODI series 2-1.

“Our bowlers did the job up front keeping them to 110 and it’s good to get across the line in what’s been a pretty tough-fought series,” Santner said.

“It got quite tight in the end today. Credit to Bangladesh, their bowlers have bowled extremely well. They put us under some real pressure again.”

After asking Bangladesh to bat first on a lively Bay Oval pitch, Santner claimed 4-16 off his four overs, stifling an innings that was already struggling at 41-3 when he was introduced.

Seamers Tim Southee, Adam Milne and Ben Sears all took two wickets.

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Milne (2-23) removed Bangladesh captain and top-scorer Najmul Hossain Shanto for 17 when he skied a full-pitched delivery to point.

Shanto rued the fact that he and four other Bangladesh batsmen reached double figures, but all failed to convert into a substantial score.

“The bowlers did a great job but the batsmen didn’t get runs today,” he said.

“In T20s the top of the order is very important. Our batsmen got starts, like 15 or 17, but they’re not taking the game deep.”

Four of New Zealand’s top order were dismissed for one run and when Finn Allen followed after scoring 38, Neesham held the innings together as the storm clouds gathered, with solid support from Santner who was unbeaten on 18.

Seam bowler Shoriful Islam took 2-17 off 3.4 overs.

Bangladesh won the first game in Napier on Wednesday by five wickets, before Friday’s second match was abandoned after 11 overs because of rain in Mount Maunganui.

READ: A glimpse at Pakistan’s 2023 in major sports

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