Bangladesh lost the fifth T20I match against New Zealand on Friday (September 10), bringing the series to a 3-2 finish. This was Bangladesh's first-ever Twenty20 International series victory over New Zealand, as well as the tigers' third consecutive bilateral T20I series triumph. Bangladesh have won nine of their previous thirteen Twenty20 International matches, suggesting that the players have grasped the recipe for success in the shorter format of the game. Several players made a big difference in the series win against New Zealand. Let's have a look at the Bangladesh players' performance in the BAN vs. NZ T20I Series 2021.
Performance of the Bangladesh Cricket Team in the BAN vs. NZ T20I Series 2021
Bangladesh's batting was the biggest letdown in the BAN vs. NZ T20I Series 2021. Bangladesh have struggled in the opening position in the absence of experienced Tamim Iqbal. In the Zimbabwe and Australia series, the selectors tested Mohammad Naim and Soumya Sarkar. Soumya scored some runs against Zimbabwe but failed miserably against Australia at home. He was dropped for the New Zealand series to make room for Liton Das.
However, Liton Das did not impress the selectors as well, scoring only 65 runs in five innings against New Zealand. Liton and Naim only had one 50-run opening partnership. Mohammad Naim was Bangladesh's most consistent opener, scoring 105 runs at an 87.50 strike rate in the New Zealand series. Veteran all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan continued his poor run of form with the bat, he only made 45 runs in four innings.
Mushfiqur Rahim made his comeback in the New Zealand series after missing the Australia series. Mushfiqur was completely out of touch with the bat, scoring only 39 runs in five innings at a strike rate of 52. Mushfiq's performance in the ICC T20 World Cup will be vital and he has to be in the finest possible form prior to the big event. Mahmudullah Riyad had a few solid innings, notably a match-winning 43* in the fourth encounter.
Bangladesh captain was the second most run-scorer in the series (120) behind Tom Latham. Besides, Afif Hossain played an encouraging knock despite Bangladesh's 27-run loss in the fifth match. Afif remained undefeated with a 49* off 33 balls knock. Nurul Hasan and Mohammad Saifuddin had an opportunity to impress the selectors in the third match, but they couldn't do much with the bat throughout the 5-match series.
Mustafizur Rahman and Mohammad Saifuddin both played for Bangladesh in the first four matches and fared well for the home team. They made good use of the surfaces and took wickets when the team needed them most. Mustafizur Rahman, in particular, shined with his off-cutter and slower deliveries. His lethal accuracy frightened the New Zealand batsmen throughout the series.
Mustafizur took the second most wickets in four innings with an incredible 10.7 strike rate. Mohammad Saifuddin, on the other hand, took 5 wickets. Taskin Ahmed and Shoriful Islam took their places in the fifth match. The curator prepared a fairly sporting pitch for the final T20I, which is why Taskin and Shoriful struggled to stop the run flow. They gave away a lot of runs but still managed to get few wickets.
Mirpur's pitches favored the spinners, and spinners of both sides imposed a lot of pressure on the batsmen. Bangladesh's most successful spinner and second-highest wicket-taker in the series, Nasum Ahmed took 8 wickets at a strike rate of 10.5 in five matches.
Off-spinner Mahedi Hasan has continued to amaze with his wicket-taking abilities. He opened the innings in three of Bangladesh's four matches and provided early breakthroughs for the team. Mahedi took 5 wickets in the series.
Veteran Shakib Al Hasan took four wickets in the first two games but was wicketless in the following two. Shakib is only two wickets away from being the T20I's all-time leading wicket-taker.
We have seen a significant improvement in Bangladesh's ground fielding, catching, and body language when fielding in recent series. Bangladeshi fielders took some spectacular catches, and outfield players gave it their all to save extra runs in the BAN vs. NZ T20I Series 2021. These are positive indicators that the team is on its way to becoming one of the world's best fielding units.
Wicket-keeper Nurul Hasan Sohan had a terrific series against New Zealand. He is quick to act and constantly encourages bowlers to keep the batsmen under strain.
Except for selected players, none of the Bangladesh players performed well against New Zealand in the BAN vs. NZ T20I Series 2021 as reflected on the report card. Prior to the series, Mahmudullah Riyad-led Bangladesh T20I side was anticipated to play well against a second-string New Zealand team on Mirpur's slow surfaces. They did win the Twenty20 International series, but their batting performance was dreadful throughout the contest. Batsmen should have performed better in this series to recover confidence ahead of the ICC Twenty20 World Cup, which begins next month.