Black Caps rolled for 60 in loss to Bangladesh

Tom Latham will be one of three returners to the Black Caps ODI squad. Photo: Getty Images
New Zealand's Tom Latham. File photo: Getty Images
New Zealand have slumped to an abysmal first Twenty20 defeat to Bangladesh – and on this evidence, there will be plenty more to come.

The Black Caps were rolled for 60 in Dhaka – tied for their lowest score in T20 history and the 13th-worst in internationals, mixed among world cricketing powers Turkey, Botswana, Malta and Serbia.

Bangladesh chased down the target with seven wickets and 30 balls to spare, giving them an early lead in a five-match series that could get ugly for the visitors if they don't quickly adapt to the conditions.

Given the Black Caps XI had 87 caps of T20 experience compared with Bangladesh's 449, the loss was expected, especially at the stadium where Bangladesh took down Australia 4-1 in their series last month.

But at least Australia were competitive, and while defeats can be excused, the helpless nature of this particular thrashing poses an almighty challenge for rookie head coach Glenn Pocknall to turn around.

Viewed in wider context, this defeat, and series, means nothing to the Black Caps' chances at the T20 World Cup, with none of the 16 players picked for the tournament playing in Bangladesh.

It could, however, provide a reality check to the increasingly superlative claims of New Zealand's cricketing depth, with a cast of fresh faces looking lost at sea against the Bangladeshi spinners.

It was particularly telling that the only two batsmen to score more than five were the experienced test pair of Tom Latham (18 off 25 balls) and Henry Nicholls (18 off 24). In conditions that required skill and patience against spin, the duo added 34 for the fifth wicket. The next highest partnership was six.

Latham and Nicholls – and the adept Bangladeshi batsmen – negated any early thoughts that the pitch wasn't fit to play on. Yes, balls stayed low, and excruciatingly slow, but if treated with proper reverence by skilled craftsmen, scores in the 110-120 range are plausible winning totals.

Whether the rest of the New Zealand batsmen can adapt and improve quickly enough to reach those totals will be Pocknall's concern.

Rachin Ravindra's debut produced a golden duck in a bad innings for rookies, while Cole McConchie added a third-ball duck on debut at No 7. Tom Blundell lasted six balls, Will Young looked lost before chopping on to a ball that stayed low, and Colin de Grandhomme at least provided some variety by getting out with an ungainly slog.

At 9-4, Latham and Nicholls spared New Zealand from thoughts of 26 all out, and by playing the type of accumulative cricket that would normally predicate BJ Watling's arrival at the crease, they got through to 43-4, and a shot at producing a semi-defendable total.

But Latham's innovative display was ended by one of the worst deliveries of the innings, failing to put away a half-tracker down leg as a pull shot ballooned to fine leg. Nicholls tried to get aggressive in his absence but holed out, and the tail had no resistance as New Zealand's innings ended having produced just three boundaries – one from an atrocious fielding mishap – and a record low total.

A glimmer of hope was provided by early wickets from McConchie – amending his duck with a wicket from his first international delivery – and Ajaz Patel, but their success coupled with the Bangladeshi spinners' dominance added further doubt to the make-up of New Zealand's squad, which consists of one specialist spinner, two spin-bowling all-rounders and a whopping seven quick bowlers.

Ravindra also chimed in with a wicket in a mixed return of 1-21, and Patel's fantastic 4-0-7-1, while helped by the meagre required run rate, showed a possible path towards success in this series.

There was nothing anybody could do to defend 60 though, and Bangladesh cruised home to strike an ominous opening blow and leave the Black Caps with plenty to work on, because it can't get much worse from here.







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