Mills pleased with NZ's T20 comeback
New Zealand captain Kyle Mills said he was happy with the manner in which his team had overcome Bangladesh's aggressive charge in the only Twenty20 between the two sides in Mirpur. New Zealand won the game by 15 runs their first on this tour after they drew the Test series 0-0 and lost the ODI series 3-0.
"I think we were on the front foot from ball one," Mills said. "To post 204 runs, I think the Bangladesh side was behind the game from then on. They batted really well in the first seven overs to keep it just under par. With us picking up wickets, we were always slightly in front. I think we batted magnificently well. The opening partnership took the game by the scruff of the neck.
"Ross Taylor crafted another beautiful innings and Colin Munro carried on the form from the last game. When you put up a decent score on the board, you're reasonably confident at the halfway mark. But we still had a job to do with the ball. The Bangladesh side, like they have done all series, came pretty hard at us. It was a good, entertaining match and it was nice to come out on the right side."
Apart from Munro, who scored an unbeaten 73 to follow up his 85 in the third ODI, Mills also praised allrounder Corey Anderson and opener Anton Devcich. Anderson gave away 21 runs in four overs and picked up two wickets, while Devcich hit a half-century on his T20I debut, setting the platform for the visitors' total.
"Devcich assessed the conditions really well. He didn't try to be anyone else," Mills said. "He played his own shots and played them with confidence. I was really pleased for him. This is the first time that he has played the T20 international for his country and he stood up and played with great confidence.
'I think the Bangladesh side played our spinners really well today and Corey Anderson really stood up, which he has done every time he's had an opportunity with the bat or ball in this series. He is a great find for us and today I think he bowled exceptionally well," said Mills.
New Zealand's bowlers managed to strike early and Bangladesh were struggling at 19 for 3 in the second over. However, Mushfiqur led the charge and helped Bangladesh keep pace with the high asking rate. By the seventh over, Bangladesh were 85 for 4 and Mills said that the aggressive batting was a glimpse of how Bangladesh had improved in the last few years.
"At the halfway mark, I was pretty confident that we were going to do the job," Mills said. "We just had to bowl well and take the early wicket. The bowling group really stepped up today from what was an adequate performance in the last ODI. But you have to hand it to the Bangladesh side who played well in those first seven overs.
"They are playing pretty aggressive cricket under Shane Jurgensen. I think when you get into a situation like this - a sell-out crowd, one-game series - there is only one way the Bangladesh side was going to play. We were fully aware that they were going to come pretty hard at us, which they did. We were fortunate to pick up early wickets which nullified it."
New Zealand are a far better side in the T20 format, having won their third game of five completed matches this year, and the scheduling of the game was an advantage for them, coming at the end of an average tour.
"We turned the page pretty quickly from the 3-0 ODI series. We really had to," Mills said. "We had two days to prepare for this game. Let's not forget we beat Bangladesh the last time we played a T20 against them in Sri Lanka in March 2012.
"We were pretty confident that we could come out and do the job today if we played good cricket. I think in the previous games, we always had two or three guys stick up for our side, but today we had four or five put in pretty solid performances."
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here