Oram onslaught knocks Bangladesh out
A devastating 83 off 40 deliveries from Jacob Oram set up an emphatic 146-run victory for New Zealand at McLean Park in Napier, giving the hosts a 1-0 lead in the three-match series against Bangladesh. New Zealand were pegged back to 232 for 6 after 43 overs on a placid pitch by a much improved Bangladesh attack, before the batting Powerplay transformed what might have been an average total into a daunting one. New Zealand pillaged 82 runs for the loss of a solitary wicket during those, elevating the total to a match-winning 336 for 9.
Oram cashed in on unimpressive death bowling, clobbering the ball to all corners of the ground with nonchalance and a brutal style reminiscent of the early part of his career. Ably supported by Neil Broom, who chipped in with a well-paced 71 after being dropped by Mushfiqur Rahim on 26, Oram dispatched even the slightest errors in length to the boundary with domineering ferocity. Scoring heavily over long off and midwicket, Oram and Broom added 123 for the seventh wicket, a New Zealand record, off just 67 balls. The pressure told on the Bangladesh bowlers, who resorted to bowling wide outside the off stump in an effort to minimise the number of boundaries. But Oram continued his onslaught before finally being cleaned up by Shafiul Islam in the last over of the innings.
Earlier in the New Zealand innings, Peter Ingram, in his first ODI, and Ross Taylor combined for a confident 98 after losing Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill to some excellent new ball pressure by the Bangladesh new-ball pair. Both batsmen made tidy half centuries, playing the ball into gaps and picking up boundaries, but failed to convert their starts, holing out to men in the deep in quick succession. Ingram ended on 69 and Taylor was dismissed just after he reached his half century, for 51. Daniel Vettori also batted well for his 32 but was stumped off Shakib Al Hasan, leaving the hosts wobbling at 187 for 6 before Broom and Oram came together for their explosive stand.
Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes began the Bangladesh reply confidently, scoring at over a run a ball during the mandatory Powerplay period. Tamim was especially impressive through the covers, threading drives through a packed infield while Kayes preferred to pull, twice depositing each New Zealand opening bowler over square leg for six. A clever piece of bowling from debutant Andy McKay, however, proved Kayes' undoing, lamely bunting a slower bouncer through to the keeper with the score at 71.
Mohammed Ashraful and Raqibul Hasan both failed to reach double figures but Tamim continued playing exquisitely, relying on skill and timing rather than power to pick up boundaries at regular intervals. He too, however, failed to turn his knock into a match-winning one, allowing the New Zealanders affect him mentally by getting caught up in a pointless psychological tug-of-war with the opposition captain. Vettori came out on top, by having Tamim nick one to McCullum, ending his innings for a well made, but insufficient 62.
Shakib and Mushfiqur were both dismissed trying to up the ante, and Mahmudullah's run-a-ball resistance for 23 was simply delaying an inevitable New Zealand victory. Guptill came into the attack to clean up the tail, but the hosts are likely to be fairly content with their bowling effort which was led yet again by Vettori, who was typically influential in the middle overs. Worryingly for the Bangladesh batsmen, their inability to handle Vettori effectively was reiterated, and it is something they will look to work on ahead of the second ODI in Dunedin on Monday.