The New Zealand bat-first-and-defend plan worked like a charm again, as the Kiwis stayed perfect in Group 2 of the ICC World T20 2016 with a thumping victory over Bangladesh. The win at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata also meant New Zealand will move into the semifinals as the group winners.
New Zealand have been outstanding with the ball in this World T20, with their spinners doing what they need to do all the time, while the pace bowlers have done their bit as well. Choosing to bat first again on a sluggish, slow Eden Gardens wicket, the Black Caps got to 145/8 in their 20 overs, and that was 75 runs too much for Bangladesh, who were bowled out for 70 in 15.4 overs.
Bangladesh struggled from ball one, losing wickets constantly to barely make a game of it.
New Zealand really did not have to do too much to be honest, other than putting the ball in the right areas. The Bangladesh batsmen, looking like they already had their mind on the short flight back to Dhaka, gave away wickets in a hurry.
This was nothing like the chase against India, where they were in control until the final three balls of the match, with the spin trio of Nathan McCullum, Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi, along with the likes of Mitchell McClenaghan and Grant Elliott, doing more than enough damage to ensure Bangladesh would not even have a sniff of ending their World T20 2016 journey with a win.
In the first innings, Mustafizur Rahman was the star with the ball for Bangladesh, picking up a five-for and ending with figures of 4-0-22-5. The left-armer revelled in the slow nature of the wicket, using his cutters and changes to pace to great effect.
However, despite that five-for, New Zealand still got a to a score well above par on this pitch, with Kane Williamson (42, 32b, 5x4, 1x6), Colin Munro (35, 33b, 1x4, 2x6) and Ross Taylor (28, 24b, 2x4, 1x6) playing crucial knocks.
Williamson had a new opening partner for this match, with Martin Gutpill sitting the game out with a slight hamstring strain. Henry Nicholls, as a result, was given a T20I debut, but the left-hander could not make full use of the opportunity, falling prey to Mustafizur and his wily off-cutters.
The New Zealand skipper, though, was in the mood, looking quite comfortable on this difficult-to-time-on pitch, and moving that Kiwi scoreboard along nicely. Colin Munro played an atypical innings, realising this wasn't a wicket where he could come and smash sixes from ball one.
And that was great news for New Zealand, who rode on the innings' from Williamson, Munro and Taylor to get to a score that their bowlers would have been more than comfortable defending.
Watch the highlights of Bangladesh vs New Zealand HERE