About the Match
Amidst the festive season, the fireworks are expected to be seen in what could be yet another thrilling encounter between the Kiwis and the Tigers. The visitors, Bangladesh, will have to step up if they have to challenge the hosts and level the series. The 2nd T20I between New Zealand and Bangladesh will be played on 6th January at the Bay Oval in Mt. Maunganui. Kiwis won the first T20 International of the series in Napier after chasing a modest total of 142 runs. Going into this all-important encounter, Bangladesh will be happy with their bowling performance, but there will be a lot to ponder upon for them as far as their batting is concerned. If Bangladesh can improve their batting in the second encounter, we will certainly witness a cracker of a game.
Just as they finished in the ODI series, they started the T20I series with a bang. The Kiwis outplayed Bangladesh and chased the total with ease after looking in trouble during the earlier part of the chase. Skipper Kane Williamson was the pick of the batsmen as he slammed brilliant 73 off just 55 deliveries.
Ben Wheeler and Lokie Ferguson troubled Bangladeshi batsmen with their raw pace as Tamim Iqbal, Sabbir Rahman and Soumya Sarkar were sent to pavilion within the powerplay overs. Colin de Grandhomme's innings was an important one as he swung his bat around and slammed 41 off just 22 balls.
George Worker has been called up as a replacement for Neil Broom who fractured his fingers. The 27-year old all-rounder has done well for Central Stags and will be released to be available for Stags in not picked in the eleven. The Kiwis, all in all, look a formidable side and will be a tough side to beat in the 2nd T20I as well.
Bangladesh had a dream limited-overs at home prior to this series. They won most of their limited overs fixtures, but it hasn't been same on foreign soil. In their first T20I against New Zealand, the batsmen never looked at ease and succumbed to the pace of Lokie Ferguson. Mahmudullah scored a valiant fifty with Mosaddek Hossain Saikat being the only batsman to get past the personal score of twenty in the lineup.
Their bowlers, however, tried to redeem themselves, but the brilliant knocks by Colin de Grandhomme and Kane Williamson kept them out of the game. Despite picking up only one wicket, Mustafizur Rahman was pretty impressive as he gave away only 21 in his quota of four overs.
Overall, Bangladesh is a strong side, but with the condititons which are not really suitable for them, they would have to apply themselves and if they are able to do that, they can dent the opposition's hopes.
Kiwis won the ODI series 3-0 and they are on their way to do a clean-sweep in the T20s as well. Bangladesh on the other hand, will love to make a mark and level the series. Looking at the sides and form, New Zealand are definitely firm favorites to win this game with Williamson in form and familiar condtions.