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Nicholls makes unbeaten 49 in his 50th ODI
DUNEDIN, New Zealand, March 20, (AP): New Zealand needed just over 21 overs Saturday to overtake Bangladesh’s total of 131 and win the first of three one-day cricket internationals by eight wickets. Bangladesh, recently out of managed isolation, was never comfortable in unfamiliar batting conditions at the University Oval and was bowled out by New Zealand in only 41.5 overs. Mahmudullah’s 27 from 54 balls was its highest score. After Martin Guptill crashed 38 runs from 19 balls with three fours and four sixes at the top of the order, New Zealand was always on target to win plenty of overs to spare.
Henry Nicholls made an unbeaten 49 in his 50th ODI to steer New Zealand to victory in the 22nd over, combining in a 65-run partnership for the second wicket with Devon Conway (27). New Zealand won the toss and sent in Bangladesh in cool and overcast conditions. When Trent Boult produced a late out-swinger with the first ball of the match which surprised and beat Bangladesh captain Tamim Iqbal, it was clear the tourists were in for a tough day. Swing was short-lived but Bangladesh struggled to score freely on a pitch which was slow and holding and against a New Zealand attack which produced containing lines and lengths.
Bowling into the batsmen and pitching short of a length, the New Zealand bowlers — especially Boult who took 4-27 — cut down scoring options both square of the wicket and down the ground. Bangladesh struggled to 33-2 after 10 overs and posted their 50, with three wickets down, in the 16th over. Thanks to Guptill, New Zealand’s 50 came without a wicket down and in only five overs, and it reached 100 in the 16th over. Bangladesh had lost all 28 of its previous ODIs against New Zealand in New Zealand, mainly because of the discomfort of its batsmen in conditions which favor the bowlers and the problems its bowlers have had in adapting to those conditions.