Mohammad Mithun guided Sylhet Thunder to 162/4 in 20 overs in the first match of Bangladesh Premier Leauge’s special edition - Bangabandhu BPL - against Chattogram Challengers on Wednesday.
Ryad Emrit, the stand-in captain of the Challengers, won the toss and opted to bowl first at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium. They managed a good start when Rubel Hossain removed Rony Talukdar within five runs.
But the Thunder managed to bounce back in the second wicket as Johnson Charles and Mithun added 46 runs. Johnson fell for 35 off 23 with seven fours while Mithun kept accelerating the innings.
Jeevan Mendis fell quickly for four runs. Mosaddek Hossain and Mithun added 96 runs in the fourth wicket stand.
Mosaddek scored 29 off 35 with one four and one six. Mithun remained unbeaten at 84 off 48 deliveries with four fours and five sixes. It was Mithun’s career-best knock in T20s. His previous best score in this format was 80.
Rubel picked up two wickets for the Challengers while Nasum Ahmed and Emrit took one wicket each.
The validity and durability of New Zealand's ranking and run of success in test cricket will be tested in the sport's most hostile environment when it meets Australia on Thursday to open a three-match series.
New Zealand has risen to No. 2 in the world test rankings after an unbeaten string of seven consecutive series, most recently at home over England.
Those performances and the individual form of players such as captain Kane Williamson, batsmen Ross Taylor and Tom Latham and bowler Neil Wagner, have some observers describing this as the best New Zealand team of all time.
But none of the current squad has played a test match in Perth, Melbourne or Sydney — venues for the series — and until they do so, and succeed, it is unlikely they will be able to wear that laurel.
New Zealand has won only one test series in Australia — in 1985 when Richard Hadlee and Martin Crowe helped secure that historic achievement. It has won only one of 22 tests in Australia in the intervening 32 years and overall has won just three of 31 tests on Australian soil.
Australia won the last test series between the teams in Australia 2-0 in 2015 and the last series in New Zealand 2-0 in 2016.
In one of its most important summers, New Zealand will follow the series in Australia with a home series against No. 1-ranked India. If it wins both series it will pass India to claim the No. 1 ranking for the first time.
But that is tough, perhaps even unthinkable. Australia is in superb form after sweeping Pakistan 2-0, led by the record-breaking batting performances of David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne and the bowling of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood.
New Zealand's inexperience in Australian conditions is perhaps its greatest handicap. It has had no warm-up in those conditions ahead of the first test which will likely be played on a fast and bouncy pitch at the new Perth Stadium, and it has little recent experience of day-night cricket ahead of the pink ball series opener.
It will also face unfamiliar heat: temperatures are expected to touch 40 Celsius (104 F) on some days in Perth before cooling in the evening.
The other test venues are also new to the Kiwis: New Zealand will play the Boxing Day test on a pitch of unknown quality at the Melbourne Cricket Ground for the first time since 1985.
"Coming to Perth is probably the most extreme (conditions) we will face," New Zealand coach Gary Stead said. "Perhaps if it was Melbourne or Sydney it would be a little more like home, so good on them for bringing us over here first.
"This is a different challenge than we have had for a while. We've had a lot of success at home and we play well there generally. But Australia also came and beat us there a few years ago."
On paper the New Zealand and Australia batting lineups look closely matched with Williamson for New Zealand and Steve Smith for Australia occupying pivotal roles. For the first time six of New Zealand's top seven batsmen average better than 40 in tests while Australia has five batsmen averaging 40 or more.
Australia appears to have a substantial advantage in bowling. Cummins hasn't played a test against New Zealand but has 51 wickets in tests this year; Hazlewood has 32 wickets in tests against New Zealand at 32.63 and Starc 17 at 29.52.
New Zealand is sweating on the fitness of Trent Boult, who is recovering from a rib injury and who has 22 wickets in six tests against Australia and 16 wickets in pink ball tests at 12.5.
Stead agreed the coming series against Australia and India will test whether New Zealand deserves its current ranking.
"I think after this summer you'll probably know a lot more," he said. "When you look at the program we have — England, Australia and then India — you'd argue they are up there with the best teams in the world. When we get to end of the summer I think it's probably an easier time for me to answer that."
Australia and New Zealand players will acknowledge victims of a volcanic eruption on New Zealand's White Island before play starts Thursday in the first cricket test.
Three Australians were suspected of being among the initial six people confirmed dead from the eruption. Eight people missing on the island are believed dead and dozens remain in hospital, including some in critical condition.
Australia coach Justin Langer said players were deeply moved by the tragedy.
"It puts a (cricket) test into huge perspective," Langer said. "All of a sudden lives are being torn apart. It's very sad. Our hearts go out to everyone there.
"It will have an impact. I'm sure it will affect all New Zealanders."
New Zealand coach Gary Stead said his players were upset by news of the loss of life.
"From our team's point of view it sort of puts things into perspective, that it is a game and all we're playing is a game," Stead said. "And when you hear about lives lost and something tragic like that, it's devastating to hear."
Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne has won the toss and elected to bat in the first cricket test in Pakistan in more than a decade.
Sri Lanka was the last team to play a test match in Pakistan, involved in a test series here in 2009 when terrorists attacked the team's bus at Lahore. The ambush killed eight people and left several Sri Lankan players and officials injured.
The Pindi Cricket Stadium was heavily guarded on Wednesday with and spectators had to go through stringent security checks before entering.
Under overcast conditions, only a small crowd made it into the stadium by the time of the toss. The Pindi Cricket Stadium is hosting its first major international match since India played a test match here in 2004.
Pakistan went with the test against Sri Lanka with four fast bowlers, giving left-arm paceman Usman Shinwari a debut. The all pace attack meant Pakistan dropped specialist spinner Yasir Shah.
Opening batsman Abid Ali also made his test debut in place of Imam-ul-Haq, who struggled against Australia. Middle-order batsman Haris Sohail was given another opportunity, meaning recalled batsman Fawad Alam had to wait to make his test comeback after 10 years.
Sri Lanka went with three fast bowlers — Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha and Lahiru Kumara. The visitors left out experienced batsman Lahiru Thirimanne and Kusal Perera but went with two spinners -- Dhananjaya de Silva and Dilruwan Perera.
Kalabagan Krira Chakra and Mirpur Promila Cricket Club won their respective matches in the Dhaka First Division Women’s Cricket League at different city grounds on Tuesday.
Kalabagan KC beat Narail Express Women’s Cricket team by five wickets at the Mirpur City ground while Mirpur Promila Cricket Club beat Rayer Bazar AC by two wickets at POM ground.
Brief score of the day’s matches:
Match: Kalabagan KC vs Narail Express Women’s Cricket Team
Toss & bat: Narail Express Women’s Cricket Team
Narail Express - 121/10( 36.3 overs), Khadija Akter Jr 26, Khadiza Khatun 12, Nilufa Easmin 11, Jannatul Raiyan Noor 3/20, Mymuna Nahar 2/8 and Mousumi Akter 2/19
Kalabagan KC -124/5 (38.1 overs), Salma Akter 22*, Romana Sharmin 21, Jannatul Raiyan Noor 18, Mollika Das 1/16, Apu Halder 1/18, Anni Kiya Asha 1/19
Result : Kalabagan KC won by five wkts.
Player of the Match : Jannatul Raiyan Noor (Kalabagan KC),
Match : Rayer Bazar Athletics Club vs Mirpur Promila Cricket Club
Toss won : Mirpur Promila Cricket Club
Rayer Bazar-146/10 (28 overs), Rani Khatun 32, Disha Parvin 27, Peyare Khanom 20, Arifa Khatun 20, Farha Azmi 2/18 and Nasima Khatun 5/8
Mirpur Promila -150/8 (35 overs), Atika Hossain Anura 73*(94), Shilpa Roy 17, Humaira Yasmin Smrity 1/21, Liza Akter 2/22 and Mohima Akter Poly 1/1
Result: Mirpur Promila Cricket Club won by two wickets.
Player of the Match: Atika Hossain Anura (Mirpur Promila CC).