Christchurch: A rejuvenated Martin Guptill wound back the clock with his second century in as many games as a clinical New Zealand clinched their one-day series against Bangladesh in Christchurch Saturday. The long-serving opener, who had a disappointing recent series against India, rated his 118 as a more satisfying knock than the unbeaten 117 when he returned to form in the first match against Bangladesh.
“There was a lot of flow and rhythm in that one,” he said after New Zealand comfortably knocked off their 227-run target for the loss of two wickets and with 13.5 overs to spare.
“It felt like I got back to where I was a couple of years ago.”
Guptill cut, drove and pulled the Bangladesh attack apart as New Zealand cruised to victory and went 2-0 up in the three-match series. With the World Cup looming, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson was pleased to see his side had taken lessons from the 4-1 drubbing inflicted by India.
“It was what we were wanting,” he said.
“That was a really tough series and (the) guys got taught some harsh lessons and it’s important you learn from those.
“Today and in the last game there were a couple of nice performances obviously led by Martin Guptill.”
Against India’s tight bowling, Guptill was restricted to a top score of 15.
But against a less confining Bangladesh attack, he scored freely, with 14 fours and four sixes from the 88 deliveries he faced.
After rolling Bangladesh for 226, Guptill made a flying start in New Zealand’s reply as they passed through 10 overs at 59 for one while Bangladesh were 32 for two at the same stage. Mustafizur Rahman claimed the early wicket of Henry Nicholls for 14, leaving Kane Williamson to partner Guptill in a 143-run stand for the second wicket.
When Guptill went in similar fashion to Nicholls, caught on the boundary by Liton Das off Mustafizur Rahman in the 29th over, New Zealand were 188 for two. Williamson and Ross Taylor then guided the home side to the finish with Williamson not out 65 and Taylor on 21.
– Slopping fielding –
After Williamson won the toss and opted to bowl under cloudy skies, the Bangladesh top order again failed to fire. They were in trouble at 93 for five after 21 overs before Mohammad Mithun and Sabbir Rahman provided some backbone for the innings, putting on 75 for the sixth wicket. Mithun again played the anchor role, as he did with his hard-fought 62 in the first match.
In game two, he scored 57 off 69 deliveries before he was bowled by Todd Astle, while Sabbir contributed 43 off 65. New Zealand assisted the Bangladesh cause with 23 extras and some sloppy fielding while Rahman had fortune on his side when an edge off a Todd Astle delivery nicked the stumps but the bails stayed on.
Colin de Grandhomme had an eventful first over that lasted 11 deliveries, included five wides and also produced the wicket of Soumya Sarkar who was caught by Ross Taylor for 22. But Taylor dropped two catches in the following overs. Ferguson finished as the most successful New Zealand bowler with three for 43. The third and final ODI is in Dunedin next Wednesday, followed by three Test matches.