Mahmudullah motivates Bangladesh to maiden T20 series win

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DHAKA: Skipper Mahmudullah struck an unbeaten 43 as Bangladesh defeated New Zealand by six wickets within the fourth Twenty20 International to seal the five-match series 3-1 in Dhaka on Wednesday.

Mahmudullah guided the hosts 96-4 in 19.1 overs after four wickets each from left-arm spinner Nasum Ahmed and left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman helped them bowl out the Black Caps for 93 runs in 19.3 overs at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.

The visitors sniffed an opportunity once off-spinner Cole McConchie dismissed opener Liton Das (six) early and left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel struck twice within the same over to go away Bangladesh stuttering at 32-3.

Patel dragged Bangladesh’s star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan (eight) out of his crease for a stumping and bowled Mushfiqur Rahim for a duck three balls later within the sixth over of the innings.

Mohammad Naim and Mahmudullah, however, steadied the innings with 35 runs within the fourth wicket to place Bangladesh back on top of things.

Naim’s run-out for a 35-ball 29 with a throw of substitute fielder Doug Bracewell from deep backward square leg revived New Zealand’s chances.

But Mahmudullah, who hit two sixes and a four in his 48 ball innings, denied New Zealand further opportunity and sealed the competition with a six and 4 in successive overs to offer Bangladesh their first ever series convert New Zealand in Twenty20 format.

Mahmudullah hailed the bowlers for the win.

“The bowlers did an excellent job once more to stay New Zealand to a coffee total. All the bowlers, Nasum, Mahedi, Mustafizur, bowled well. The batters tried their best,” the skipper said. “We just needed an honest partnership within the middle and Naim and that i tried that.”

Player-of-the-match Nasum earlier picked up a career-best 4-10 to dismantle New Zealand’s top-order before Mustafizur mopped up the tail with 4-12.

Will Young held one end to form 46 off 48 balls but he lacked support from the opposite end before being dismissed by Mustafizur within the final over of the innings.

“We were slightly below par,” said New Zealand captain Tom Latham. “We were watching 100-110 but credit to Bangladesh. They batted well. After a few of early wickets, that they had it in check . The way Mahmudullah finished, credit to them.”

Bangladesh won the primary two matches respectively by seven wickets and 4 runs while New Zealand reduced the gap with a 52-run win in Sunday’s third match.

The fifth match of the series are going to be played on Friday at an equivalent venue.

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