Just when the series was on the verge of being lost, New Zealand came alive, winning the third T20I and ensuring that the fans did not have to go through the agony of watching dead rubbers.
It still wasn’t their best performance – at least not with the bat – yet they got the win, which matters the most. They owed everything to a pair of batters and a pair of bowlers.
First up was the pairing of Henry Nicholls and Tom Blundell, who rescued the Kiwi batting from 62-5 in the 11th over to 128-5 by the end of 20th.
Then, it was the spin duo Ajaz Patel and Cole McConchie, who shared seven wickets between themselves to give Bangladesh a taste of their own medicine.
The Black Caps are back in the series but it does not in any way mean that they are not susceptible to meltdowns. Truth be told, such has been the state of wicket during this series that any batting unit can collapse regardless of their talent and resolve.
As mentioned above, Bangladesh were served a taste of their own medicine and they must not have liked how bitter it was.
Their plan for these pre-World Cup home series against Australia and New Zealand was to prepare the most spin-friendly of pitches as possible. The plan was working perfectly as they had lost just one of their last seven T20Is up until the last game when New Zealand learned the trick for themselves.
The two-headed spin monster of Patel and McConchie wreaked havoc, sending batsman after batsman from the hosts’ line-up in a spin (pun intended) and inflicting on their hosts the ignominy of being bundled out for a mere 76 runs at home.
Patel, in particular, was unplayable at times as he picked up four wickets – all of recognized batsmen – for just 16 runs. McConchie cleaned up the lower-order batsmen as the Tigers exited the match with their tails between their legs.
For the first time in a while, the hosts have a real problem to resolve – a problem that they created themselves.