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Bangladesh stun NZ in Wales

New Zealand crashed out of the 2017 Champions Trophy, as Bangladesh secured a convincing five-wicket victory in Friday’s key Group A fixture at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff, Wales.

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The result will see Bangladesh book a semifinal berth, if England beat Australia at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Saturday. Group B competitors Pakistan and South Africa – and Pakistan and Sri Lanka – will effectively contest quarterfinals on Sunday and Monday, respectively.

Bangladesh’s pursuit of a testing 266-run target endured a torrid start, slipping to 33 for four inside a dozen overs. The veteran Tamim Iqbal, who scored a fine century in the tournament opener against the English, fell for a duck – and batsmen two, three and four managed a mere 25 runs between them.

With a rearguard alliance and collective counterattack required, former captain Shakib Al Hasan and sidekick Mohammad Mahmudullah duly obliged. The pair shared a record 224-run partnership for the fifth wicket, as the dominance tolled on the opposition bowlers and fielders.

Al Hasan welcomed a seventh ODI century to Mahmudullah’s third. The former was eventually out for 114 off 115 deliveries, while the latter cherished 102 not out from 107, as triumph arrived with 2.4 overs to spare.

Their hefty stand became Bangladesh’s highest in ODI cricket, for any wicket. Overall, it is third only to South African duo JP Duminy and David Miller’s unbroken 256 against Zimbabwe in Hamilton in 2015 – and England pair Eoin Morgan and Ravi Bopara’s unbeaten 226 versus Ireland in Dublin in 2013.

Earlier, New Zealand squandered a solid start to finish with a substandard total of 265 for eight. A quickfire 33 from opener Martin Guptill, followed by complementary half-centuries by middle-order talismen Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor all but promised a final score in excess of 300, but a general lack of support largely failed to deliver.

Taylor scored 63 to Williamson’s 57, but neither managed to convert to three figures, which was very much the demand on a relatively docile pitch, despite the successful exploit of the opposition bowling attack.

Having recalled the enterprising Taskin Ahmed, Bangladesh enjoyed the combative services of four specialist seam bowlers, but spinner Mosaddek Hossain was the pick of the bunch. He secured superb figures of three for 13 in just three highly telling overs. The dangerous Corey Anderson, removed for a first-ball duck, was arguably Hossain’s most cherished victim.

Williamson had won the toss and opted to bat first, after umpires Ian Gould and Nigel Llong – and match referee Chris Broad – delayed the start by 60 minutes, to 11:30 local time (12:30 South African time) due to a wet outfield caused by overnight and morning rain. No overs were lost, with each innings afforded a full 50.

Prior to this fixture, New Zealand and Bangladesh had met in ODI cricket on 30 occasions, with the former triumphant 21 times.

Eight of the latter’s nine victories over the New Zealanders, though, had come in their last 14 meetings – and includes series victories in 2010 and 2013. Friday’ outcome has seen that impressive ratio climb to 10 in 15.

Sophia Gardens was also the scene of a famous win for the Tigers over Australia in 2005, when the now-exiled Mohammad Ashraful welcomed a superb century over the veteran Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie and company.

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NEW ZEALAND: Martin Guptill, Luke Ronchi (wk), Kane Williamson (capt), Ross Taylor, Neil Broom, James Neesham, Corey Anderson, Mitchell Santner, Adam Milne, Tim Southee, Trent Boult

BANGLADESH: Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Sabbir Rahman, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), Taskin Ahmed, Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman

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