New Zealand 161 for 5 (Latham 50*, Allen 41, Shoriful 2-48) beat Bangladesh 134 for 8 (Afif 49*, Mahmudullah 21, Patel 2-21) by 27 runs

New Zealand saved their best batting display for the last game as they revelled in the leniency showed by Shere Bangla National Stadium curator Gamini Silva. On a pitch much more conducive for strokeplay, they piled up 161 for 5 and beat Bangladesh by 27 runs. Tom Latham struck his second fifty of the series and Finn Allen played a telling innings as well. His 41 off 24 balls gave the visitors the perfect start after they decided to bat first for the fourth time in the series.

Bangladesh were, predictably, off colour, having chosen only three specialist bowlers in the XI, leaving nine overs in the care of part-timers. Shoriful Islam, playing for the first time in the series, took two wickets but looked rusty.

Chasing 162, Bangladesh made a poor start, leaving too much for the middle-order to do in the last ten overs. Afif Hossain blazed briefly to make an unbeaten 49, but ran out of partners.

Ajaz Patel, once again, led the way with 2 for 21 from his four overs, but it was how New Zealand batted that made most of the difference.

Allen lives by the sword, dies by the sword
Allen promised that he will bat in his own way. He failed to launch in the previous two matches, but lived up to his billing in this game. He began by pulling a Nasum Ahmed half-tracker for six, before taking Shoriful apart with two fours and a six in the fourth over.

Allen repeated the dose, hitting Shoriful for another four and six, this time waiting on the slower-ball to hammer it over deep square leg. But Shoriful struck back in the same over, first removing Rachin Ravindra for 17, before clean bowling Allen as well. Against what was the last ball of the powerplay, Allen missed a hoick going across his stumps, staying true to his style.

Latham provides final flourish

Taking two more wickets, Bangladesh left New Zealand (83 for 4 in the 11th over) with the same problem of the previous four matches. But Latham kept them on track, with a nice blend of ones and twos and boundaries. He added 35 runs for the fifth wicket with Henry Nicholls, who was brilliantly caught behind by Nurul Hasan.

Latham then went for the jugular, adding 43 in the last 3.3 overs with Colin McConchie. In the process, the New Zealand stand-in captain raised his second fifty of the series, which has been played on some very tricky pitches. He struck two fours and two sixes, both off Taskin Ahmed in the 19th over and both hammered over midwicket.

Bangladesh sink fast

The home side couldn't adjust to a better pitch, getting bogged down during the powerplay, unable to reach even a six an over. Liton Das finished the series poorly, falling for 10 thanks to Scott Kuggeleijn taking a brilliant one-handed catch at backward point.

Soumya Sarkar was also caught at point, cutting at a ball without any balance. Next over, Ben Sears took his maiden T20I wicket, getting Mohammad Naim caught behind for 23. Mushfiqur Rahim became the third batter to fall in as many overs when he holed out to Colin de Grandhomme, off Ravindra. On 48 for 4 at the half-way mark, Bangladesh were sinking fast.

NZ douse a brief spark

Mahmudullah and Afif revived Bangladesh's innings with a 63-run fifth wicket stand. There were some breathtaking shots, particularly Afif's flicked four and six off Sears, which led to two big overs, the 14th and 15th, that yielded 24 for the home side.

But when Mahmudullah holed out at sweeper cover for 23, the sting was gone. Nurul and Shamim Hossain made 4 and 2 respectively, before the tail caved in. Afif struck two fours and three sixes in his 33-ball stay.

Every New Zealand bowler took a wicket, with Patel and Kuggeleijn taking two each. It was a fine effort, one that they can take to Pakistan for the ODIs and T20Is as encouragement.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84