Latham happy to take the game to the last over
Bangladesh made history when they beat New Zealand by six wickets in the fourth T20I today to ensure their maiden T20I series triumph over New Zealand. The Tigers sealed the five-match series 3-1 with a game in hand.
However, despite bundling New Zealand out for just 93 in 19.3 overs, the Tigers had to bat till the final over to chase down the low target. And New Zealand's stand-in skipper Tom Latham was happy to have taken the game down till the final over and give the Tigers a tough time throughout.
"I am pleased with the way we could take it to the last over," Latham said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
"We were slightly under par. We were looking at 100-110 but credit to Bangladesh for the way they batted. After a couple of early wickets, they had it under control. The way Mahmudullah [Riyad] finished, credit to them. [Will] Young played a good innings to take us to a competitive score. We lost quick wickets and it was hard to keep the momentum going," Latham added.
Bangladesh lost three of their top-order batsmen -- opener Liton Das, Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim -- inside the powerplay. And that left Tigers in a spot of bother at 32 for three after six overs.
But Mahmudullah Riyad and Mohammad Naim then strung together a 34-run stand to ensure Bangladesh do not lose their grip on the game. Naim fell to a run-out in the 15th over but Mahmudullah stayed till the end, scoring an unbeaten 48-ball 43, and finished the game in a stunning fashion with a boundary over midwicket off off-spinner Cole McConchie.
Mahmudullah acknowledged the pressure they've faced in the middle and addressed that partnerships were key for the win.
"The batters tried their best. We just needed a good partnership in the middle and Naim and I tried that. Naim batted well and then Afif [Hossain] was good. We tried to build partnerships and take the game deep. The credit for the series win goes to the team management and the boys," the captain said.
The skipper also credited his bowlers who played a pivotal role in the first innings.
"The bowlers did a great job once again to restrict New Zealand to a low total. All the bowlers -- Nasum [Ahmed], Mahedi [Hasan], Mustafizur [Rahman] -- bowled well," he added.
Nasum Ahmed was adjudged the player-of-the-match for his career-best bowling spell of four for 10 in four overs that included a wicket-maiden and a double-wicket maiden. The spinner was delighted with the series win.
"I am happy with the series win. There was no pressure from the captain. I tried to give as few runs as possible. The wicket was turning, my only focus was to land the ball on one spot," the left-arm spinner said.