Martin Guptill scored a second consecutive century, a more aggressive one this time, to help New Zealand hunt down 227 and secure the three-match one-day international series against Bangladesh with a game to spare in Christchurch on Saturday, 16 February.
The New Zealand quicks did an exceptional job, striking regularly to bowl Bangladesh out for a modest 226. In response, Guptill blasted 118 off 88 balls, including 14 fours and four sixes, to help seal an eight-wicket victory in just 36.1 overs.
Guptill looked in good touch right from the outset, and wasn’t fazed when opening partner Henry Nicholls was dismissed for 14 by Mustafizur Rahman. Kane Williamson too looked unsettled early in his innings, but nothing could put Guptill off on the day.
He struck a couple of boundaries in the second over of the chase, and just kept going. Boundaries came frequently – Mehidy Hasan Miraz was launched for two sixes in the sixth over – and Guptill soon brought up his fifty off just 33 balls with a cracking pull to deep square-leg.
With Guptill going well, Williamson eased into his innings and compensated for the slow start with a few trademark cut shots.
No one was to steal the thunder from Guptill, though. He raced towards his 16th ODI century, bringing up the mark off 77 balls with a tickle to fine-leg. He struck a few more boundaries before finally holing out off Rahman.
Kane Williamson took charge and brought up his fifty shortly thereafter. He saw off the chase, and remained unbeaten on an 86-ball 65*, with Ross Taylor chipping in with 20*.
Earlier, Bangladesh were once again made to suffer by the New Zealand pacemen, with Trent Boult and Matt Henry removing their openers cheaply. Das (1) was caught by Lockie Ferguson at long-on when he miscued a lofted shot off Boult, and Iqbal was trapped in front by Henry for a painstaking 28-ball 5.
Soumya Sarkar and Mushfiqur Rahim then stitched together a 32-run stand, but the stand was broken when the former nicked one behind off Colin de Grandhomme for 22.
Rahim was then joined by Mohammad Mithun, who looked in particularly good touch. The duo added 33 runs for the fourth wicket before Rahim (24) chopped a Ferguson delivery onto his stumps.
When Todd Astle then had Mahmudullah (7) caught behind, Bangladesh had slipped to 93/5. But Mithun and Sabbir Rahman applied themselves for a 75-run partnership.
Mithun, who was battling with a troublesome hamstring, brought up his half-century but wasn’t able to continue much longer as a slider from Astle castled him for 57.
Rahman scored a patient 43, and contributions from Miraz (13), Mohammad Saifuddin (10) and Mashrafe Mortaza (13) helped Bangladesh get past 200. But Ferguson and Neesham kept taking wickets to ensure that Bangladesh didn’t post anything too challenging.
The third ODI will be played in Dunedin on Wednesday.