Guptill’s 117* Sees New Zealand Ease Past Bangladesh in 1st ODI
The out-of-form opener helped the Kiwis regain some confidence after a comprehensive 4-1 series defeat to India.
Martin Guptill stroked his way back into forms with an unbeaten 117 as New Zealand eased to an eight-wicket win over Bangladesh in their ODI series opener at Napier on Wednesday, 13 February.
Bangladesh were bowled out for 232 in 48.5 overs after opting to bat first, a total New Zealand surpassed with 33 balls to spare.
Guptill locked in his place in the New Zealand squad for the World Cup in England later this year with a confident, match-winning century from 116 balls which included eight boundaries and four sixes. While his selection might have been automatic in the past, Guptill was under pressure after a recent run of low scores.
He made 138 in his first ODI innings of the season against Sri Lanka on return from a long injury break, but didn’t score more than 15 in his next seven appearances before sitting out of the T20Is against India with a back injury.
On Wednesday, he demonstrated an ability to anchor the innings.
“It feels nice but I think the most pleasing thing was the way the guys really restricted Bangladesh up front with the ball,” Guptill said. “We made them tough to get away and losing four wickets in the top 10 is hard to come back from.”
Henry Nicholls also made a strong claim to World Cup selection as an opener, as well as for his ability lower in the order, with 53 in a 103-run opening stand with Guptill.
Nicholls was promoted to open during the India ODI series when Colin Munro failed to make a substantial score and was dropped, just as he has been left out of the first two matches of this series.
The New Zealand selectors had been anticipating a Guptill-Munro opening partnership, expecting it to provide the aggressive beginnings which were to be a key part of the World Cup strategy for the Kiwis. Now it seems Guptill, Munro and Nicholls will be chosen to give New Zealand flexibility at the top.
Earlier, Trent Boult and Matt Henry cut through the Bangladesh top order, taking advantage as the ball swung and seamed early to leave the tourists 42/4, then 94/6.
A record 84-run partnership between Mohammad Mithun (62) and Mohammad Saifuddin (41) – Bangladesh’s highest for the eighth wicket in ODIs – allowed the tourists to pass 200 in what were generally good batting conditions.
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza said his team lacked preparation in New Zealand conditions.
“We were struggling during the batting time,” Mashrafe said.
“They bowled well but I think we just lost too many early wickets. We can't make excuses but in these conditions you need at least a week to adjust everything.”
Brief Scores: New Zealand 233/2 in 44.3 overs (Martin Guptill 117*, Henry Nicholls 53, Mahmudullah 1/27) beat Bangladesh 232 all out in 48.5 overs (Mohammad Mithun 62, Trent Boult 3/40, Mitchell Santner 3/45) by 8 wickets.
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