Bangladesh took three early wickets but a partnership of 159 transformed the innings
New Zealand 318 for 6 (Conway 126, Mitchell 100*) v Bangladesh
Devon Conway‘s seamless transition to international cricket continued with a maiden century on his home ground and Daryl Mitchell made a late surge to his first ODI hundred as New Zealand overcame an early wobble to post a commanding 318 for 6 at the Basin Reserve.
After opting to bat on a well-grassed surface, New Zealand slipped to 57 for 3 with the recalled Rubel Hossain taking two wickets in two overs. However, the innings was stabilised firstly by Conway and Tom Latham and then the dominant partnership of between Conway and Mitchell as they added 159 in 24 overs for the fifth wicket. In all, New Zealand score 107 off the last 10 overs.
For Conway this was his fifth fifty-plus score in 12 international innings (including the 99 not out against Australia) and he converted into a century from 95 balls with a lofted square cut for this 13th boundary. He got his chance in this series because Kane Williamson is missing, but surely there will be no dislodging him.
Mitchell’s century needed a last-ditch sprint off the final ball of the innings and he should have been run out but Mushfiqur Rahim fumbled the return. With eight balls remaining he had been on 83 then a six off Hossain followed by three consecutive boundaries at the start of the last over brought the hundred in sight.
The early progress had been steady and Henry Nicholls was given a life when Rahim couldn’t hold an edge, but two balls later the left hander nicked to second slip where Liton Das held on to the relief of the often-luckless Taskin Ahmed.
Next over, Martin Guptill gave away another start when he toe-ended a pull to mid-on and Ross Taylor’s return after injury was a brief stay when he edged a cut off Hossain after being dropped on 3.
Conway and Latham rebuilt steadily with the innings given some impetus in the 19th over when Conway took three consecutive boundaries off Mustafizur Rahman: a controlled guide to third man, a genuine nick and then a perfect on drive.
In conditions offering some assistance for the seamers, Tamim Iqbal turned to the medium pace of Soumya Sarkar and he struck first ball with Latham superbly caught at point by Mehidy Hasan. Sarkar would do a good job for his captain with eight overs for 37.
Bangladesh managed to hold the innings for a period after that as Mitchell played himself in and briefly dominated the strike, but the ball after Conway went to fifty from 52 balls, Mitchell launch Mehidy over midwicket for six.
Conway did not hit a boundary between the 23rd and 37th overs but the partnership built at a good tempo. Having come up fractionally short of a century earlier in the season he sent Ahmed through point and then cut loose in the closing stages of the innings with four more boundaries in 12 balls before picking out deep midwicket.
Mitchell, who had been promoted above Jimmy Neesham when New Zealand were four down with more than half the innings remaining, could have been run out on 24 but the fielder from cover couldn’t pick up cleanly and was dropped on 63. That would prove costly for Bangladesh who had just about managed to keep a lid on the late overs until Mitchell’s final dip.
A big full toss went over deep square leg then he took advantage of Rahman missing his length (and bowling a no-ball) while Mitchell Santner helped with some desperate scampering. Mitchell lost the strike with two balls remaining but Santner was able to take three to deep cover to give him the final delivery. It should have just been a single, but Mitchell was able to walk off with the ovation for a century.
Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo