FATULLAH // Shamsur Rahman led Bangladesh to a stirring victory over New Zealand yesterday, chasing down more than 300 to complete a 3-0 sweep of the one-day international series.
Shamsur’s 96 rocketed the home side to 309 for six, steaming past New Zealand’s 307 with four balls and four wickets to spare at a packed stadium at Fatullah, just outside Dhaka.
The opener hit seven fours and four sixes in his 107-ball knock as Bangladesh chased down a 300-plus total for only the second time in their playing history.
Shamsur, 25, playing in only his second one-day international, fell short of what would have been a well-deserved century when an attempted drive off a Corey Anderson delivery became an edge and flew to wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi.
Naeem Islam continued to lead the charge after Shamsur’s departure before he was run out for 63 after facing 74 balls.
Nasir Hossain (44 not out) stayed till the end to ensure Bangladesh never lost their way in the chase on the batting-friendly pitch.
Earlier, Ross Taylor hit his eighth one-day century as New Zealand posted their highest total in the series. The visitors were desperate to avoid another whitewash, after their previous one-day series against Bangladesh.
Taylor, who was part of the New Zealand squad that lost 4-0 to Bangladesh in 2010, remained unbeaten on 107 while Colin Munro made 85 to give the tourists a fighting chance.
Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim ranked their latest triumph ahead of the series in 2010.
“Both the series victories are great, but personally, I will go for this series over 2010,” he said.
“We had a couple of injuries, that of Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal for the last game, and we overcame that. We were a bit handicapped before the series got underway but by the time it ended, we are all satisfied.”
Taylor and Munro put on 130 for the fourth wicket after Mushfiqur won the toss. Taylor made the most of his chances after Rubel Hossain dropped him off his own bowling on 12. Taylor hit nine fours and three sixes in 93 balls.
Anton Devcich (46) and Tom Latham (43) gave New Zealand a decent start with a 66-run opening stand. But Bangladesh struck back through their spinners to reduce the visitors to 101-3.
Munro, playing his first match in the series, led the initial charge to complete his fifty before he fell to off-spinner Mahmudullah.
The left-hander smashed seven fours and two sixes in his 95-ball innings. Taylor accelerated after reaching his fifty off 69 deliveries.
“We are all very disappointed with the outcome of not just today’s match, but the whole series,” said stand-in New Zealand captain Kyle Mills.
“To go down 3-0 is extremely disappointing. It wasn’t our plan when we came out here, but we have to hand it to the Bangladesh side, they played exceptional cricket today.”