HAMILTON-Devon Conway’s stunning 92* followed by Ish Sodhi’s 4/28 helped New Zealand to a comprehensive 66-run win in the opening T20I against Bangladesh in Hamilton.
Tim Southee, who was leading the side in Kane Williamson’s absence won the toss and opted to bat first – a decision that was proven right by a spectacular batting performance from the hosts. It was not the ideal start though as Bangladesh debutant Nasal Ahmed removed Finn Allen for a duck in the first over. However, Conway came in to bat with purpose and took his time to settle. Even after losing Martin Guptill on a 27-ball 35, Conway remained unfazed.
He paired with Will Young to first bring up the fifty partnership and let loose soon after. Both Conway and Young brought up their half-centuries. The 105-run stand was eventually broken when Mahadi Hasan dismissed Young for 53 (30). Conway then began plundering runs. 48 came in the last three overs. He finished on an unbeaten 92 off just 52 balls, slamming 11 fours and three sixes in the innings as the hosts put up a daunting 210/3 on the board.
In reply, Bangladesh began confidently with opener Mohammad Naim hitting three fours in the first two overs. But Southee removed Liton Das in the third over to break that fledgling stand. Naim’s stay at the crease also ended two overs later as he fell victim to Lockie Ferguson for 27. Before Bangladesh could recover, Sodhi struck with a double-wicket over, dismissing Soumya Sarkar (5) and Mohammad Mithun (4) in the sixth over leaving Bangladesh struggling on 44/4 at the end of the Powerplay.
Sodhi struck again two overs later, removing two more – bowling out Mahmudullah for 11 and then Mahedi Hasan for a duck on the very next delivery. Afif Hossain was the only Bangladesh batsman to offer any resistance but he too fell five runs short of a fifty. With tight lines and lengths, the New Zealand bowlers controlled the scoring rate and there was nothing much that Bangladesh tail could do. They eventually fell 66 runs short, finishing their innings on 144/8.