Devon Conway top-scored in an eight-wicket tri-series win over Bangladesh in Christchurch on Sunday, demonstrating why he will be New Zealand’s key batter at the Twenty20 World Cup.
Conway batted with control for an unbeaten 70 off 51 balls as the Black Caps chased down 137-8 with 13 balls to spare at Hagley Oval.
He and captain Kane Williamson (30) put on 85 for the second wicket before Glenn Phillips’ quickfire 23 not out off nine balls rounded out New Zealand’s first win of the tournament.
Pakistan leads after the first round of matches, having defeated both New Zealand and Bangladesh by six wickets and 21 runs, respectively.
The week-long series is being used by all three teams to prepare for the World Cup, which will be held in Australia later this month.
Earlier, Black Caps legspinner Ish Sodhi became the fifth bowler in T20I history to take 100 wickets, removing top-scorer Najmul Hossain Shanto (33) in his first over.
Sodhi quickly dismissed Mosaddek Hossain to halt Bangladesh’s mid-innings momentum, aided by a miserly 2-14 from fellow spinner Michael Bracewell.
Williamson praised the accuracy of his spin pair.
“We worked hard and used the spin to keep them to a below-par total,” he explained.
“It was difficult to play with no pace on the ball if you hit the right length, and our spinners were outstanding.”
Bangladesh captain and world-class allrounder Shakib Al Hasan scored 16 off 16 balls but failed to make an impact with the ball after missing the first game due to a late arrival in Christchurch.
He stated that his team’s total was difficult to defend.
“I thought the spinners bowled really well for New Zealand,” he said.
“We started very well, but we couldn’t handle their quality spin in the middle overs, and we probably tried to play too many big shots, which cost us momentum.”
Adam Milne, a pace bowler, was added to New Zealand’s growing injury list after bowling only two overs before pulling up with abdominal tightness and leaving the field.
Lockie Ferguson, another quick, suffered a similar injury in training, ruling him out of Sunday’s game, while allrounder Daryl Mitchell is doubtful for the World Cup due to a fractured finger.
On Tuesday, New Zealand will take on Pakistan.