Bangladesh cricket team started their tour of New Zealand with a two-wicket defeat in the lone one-day tour match against New Zealand XI at Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Lincoln yesterday.
Having sent in to bat, Bangladesh were bundled out for 247 in 46.1 overs, a target which was chased down by the hosts with 11 balls to spare.
The three-match ODI series begins on in Napier Wednesday.
The Tigers played the match without four regular starters -- skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, pacer Rubel Hossain, opener Tamim Iqbal and all-rounder Mohammad Saifuddin -- all of whom had left the country for New Zealand in the early hours of Sunday. The hosts had only one player in skipper Jeet Raval with international experience.
The Tigers, however, can take away a few positives from the game. Mushiqur Rahim carried on his good form from the Bangladesh Premier League with a 61-ball 62 while Mahmudullah Riyad's 72 off 88 balls would give him a boost after a torrid BPL campaign. Sabbir Rahman, too, showed glimpses of form with 40 runs off 41 deliveries.
Bangladesh started their innings shakily, losing four top-order batsmen within just eight overs and with the score of only 31 runs. But thanks to contributions from Mushfiqur, Mahmudullah and Sabbir, the visitors did manage a respectable 247.
Another positive takeaway from the game would be spinners Nayeem Hasan, Mehedi Hasan Miraz and Riyad getting some purchase from the pitch -- which has always been a tough task in foreign conditions. Coming in to chase, New Zealand XI were cruising at one stage before Nayeem broke a 114-run opening stand between Andrew Fletcher and Raval by picking up the latter for a 63-ball 52. Mehedi and Mahmudullah came in the middle and latter part of the innings and picked up two wickets each to make things tight for the hosts.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe, on the eve of departure for New Zealand, was confident that Bangladesh would be able to get a good result despite losing the nation's premier all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan to a finger injury.
“Shakib's importance cannot be overstated. It was a difficult experience every time we went to play without Shakib. It was a big challenge and it became a bigger challenge after losing Shakib. However, we played with this challenge in Asia Cup too and so I will step onto the field with a positive mind frame."
SCORES IN BRIEF
BANGLADESH: 247 all out in 46.1 overs (Mahmudullah 72, Mushfiqur 62, Sabbir 40; McPeake 4-38)
NEW ZEALAND XI: 251 for 8 in 48.1 overs (Fletcher 92, Raval 52; Mustafizur 2-33, Mahmudullah 2-37, Mehedi 2-46).
Result: New Zealand XI won by two wickets.