Bangladesh beat the Kiwis in yet another thrilling encounter to complete a historic clean sweep over their counterparts from Down Under. The whitewash also took them to No. 8 in the ICC rankings above the West Indies while New Zealand slumped to No. 7.
New Zealand, looking to salvage some pride in the dead rubber, lost the toss and were made to field first. Imrul Kayes started off well making 34, which included 2 hits over the fence but wickets fell at regular intervals at the other end. Shakib looked as solid as ever in his knock of 36 and apart from minor contributions from Mushfiqur Rahim (29) and Mahmudullah (19), none of the other Bangladeshi batsmen offered resistance with Vettori and Mills picking up three wickets each as the Black Caps were set a target of 175 to win.
But the New Zealand top order collapsed like a pack of cards and were reduced to 20 for 5 by the 7th over. Rubel Hossain picked up three of those wickets and Abdur Razzak castled the in-form Ross Taylor. The skipper and crisis man Vettori then stitched together an 86 run partnership with Elliot as New Zealand clawed their way back into the game. The game turned around in the 31st over when Shakib got rid off his opposite number for 43, courtesy a spectacular catch by Shaiful Islam at deep midwicket. Shakib, who could do no wrong in the series, also cleaned up Nathan McCullum and when Elliot got out trying to heave Shuvo out of the park, with 31 runs still to get off 6 overs, all seemed lost for the Black Caps.
But the batting powerplay was still left to be taken and Mills made sure that Bangladesh didn’t have it easy as he struck a few lusty blows and reduced the equation to 8 to win off the last over which was to be bowled by Rubel. He flicked the first ball to the square leg boundary and the Kiwis were one shot away from the target. But this was meant to be Rubel’s day as he bowled two perfect yorkers, the second of which sent Mills’ stump cartwheeling to give Bangladesh an historic 3 run victory.
Credit should be given to the Bangla tigers who went into the series with many expecting a 5-0 mauling but they turned the tables around to whitewash the Kiwis. Shakib Al Hasan, the leading run getter and leading wicket taker, deservedly picked up the Man of the Series as he cemented his place as the world No. 1 all-rounder while the Kiwis were left with loads of work to do before they met the Indian tigers in their own den next month.