DUNEDIN: Opener Will Young cracked a rapid century as New Zealand recovered from a dreadful start to beat Bangladesh by 44 runs on Sunday in the rain-affected first ODI match.
The match was shortened to 30 overs each after three rain delays to New Zealand’s innings in Dunedin.
The home side burst into life in the final stages to post an imposing 239-7.
Needing an adjusted target of 245 to win the first ODI of the three-match series, Bangladesh were restricted to 200-9 in a chase that lost momentum.
New Zealand bounced back after losing two wickets in the game’s opening over when Bangladesh seamer Shoriful Islam had Rachin Ravindra and Henry Nicholls both caught without scoring.
A brilliant 171-run stand for the third wicket between Young, who hit 105 off 84 balls, and captain Tom Latham, who finished with 92 runs, handed the advantage back to the hosts in a match played in overcast conditions throughout.
Their stand straddled two stoppages, which reduced the innings from 46 overs to 40 and then to 30.
The pair hit out in brutal fashion over the last 10.4 overs, when the hosts chalked up a remarkable 131 runs.
Latham fell short of his eighth ODI century, bowled by off-spinner Mehidy Hasan Miraz, but Young forged on to reach three figures for the third time in the 50-over format before being run out in the final over.
Young said his first priority was to steady the innings after its disastrous start.
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“Tommy and I set up a nice partnership although it was on and off with the rain,” Young said.
“We came back on with 10 overs to go and we thought why not have a crack? And it came off today. It was nice to get a few out of the middle at the end and it’s the icing on the cake to finish with a win.”
Shoriful was comfortably Bangladesh’s best bowler, taking 2-28 off six overs.
The chase began brightly, with opener Anamul Haque reaching 43, supported by Towhid Hridoy (33) and Liton Das (22), who all scored at better than a run a ball.
However, the pursuit tailed off when Afif Hossain fell for a hard-hit 38 in the 24th over, with his team still needing 80 runs.
Visiting captain Najmul Hossain Shanto said the result was “very disappointing” after Islam’s early fireworks.
“If we’d taken a third wicket, it could have been a different ball game,” said Shanto, before singling out the expensive spin bowling of Mehidy and Afif as a weak point.
“I think our fast bowlers bowled really well but our spinners need to learn quickly before the next match.”
New Zealand’s best bowling figures of 2-24 were recorded by allrounder Josh Clarkson, who made his debut along with seamer William O’Rourke.
The remaining games are in Nelson and Napier next week as Bangladesh seek their first ODI win over the Black Caps on New Zealand soil after 17 defeats.