New Zealand innings took off on the back of maiden ODI tons from Devon Conway and Daryl Mitchell as the Kiwis posted 318 for six in 50 overs in the third ODI after winning the toss and electing to bat. Having reduced New Zealand to 57 for three at one point, the feeling was that the Tigers let their advantage slip by, missing a few tricks.
On a seaming track, Bangladesh once again went with the two off-spinners in Mehedi Hasan Miraz and Mahedi Hasan. The two bowled just 12 overs between them. It became apparent early on that there was good carry and some seam movement in the pitch as Bangladesh subjected the Kiwis to a pace barrage. Taskin Ahmed bowled seven overs in the trot in his exciting first spell and was easily the most threatening of the Tigers’ pacers even as the wickets column in the first spell did not show it.
Fielding errors once again came to the fore as Mushfiqur Rahim dropped Henry Nicholls off Taskin but the bowler got his man just two deliveries later when Mohammad Mithun managed to hold on at slip. There was redemption for Mushfiqur when he took the catch of Ross Taylor behind the stumps after Mustafizur Rahim had dropped him two deliveries earlier. Between those two scalps, Martin Guptill had gone too as Kiwis were reduced to 57 for three with Rubel bagging two.
Conway started the rebuilding effort as the Kiwis started to breathe easier since the introduction of spin. Skipper Latham then fell first ball to Soumya Sarkar after a 63-run partnership with Conway with Mehedi taking a surreal diving catch at point. The Tigers did not take advantage of the early pressure, not introducing slip catchers for Mustafizur as the bowler was forced to bowl too straight even as edges were produced in what could have been a pivotal 19th over of the innings.
A set Conway and Mitchell then strung togetheran immense 159-run partnership for the fifth wicket. Conway fell in the 48th over after a 110-ball 126, out to Mustafizur but Mitchell took over and hit the ball over the park to complete his ton on the very last delivery of the 50th over, with a little help from Mushfiqur who could not quite manage to collect the throw in time.
Rubel bagged three wickets for the Tigers and Taskin and Fizz bagged one each but the latter went for 87 in 10 overs, adding to Tigers’ woes and pondering what could have been had they not missed the trick even as the fielding effort in this match was a much improved one than the second ODI.