Wellington, Mar 26 (AP): Maiden centuries to Devon Conway and allrounder Daryl Mitchell lifted New Zealand to a 164-run win over Bangladesh in the third one-day cricket international Friday and a 3-0 sweep of the series.
South Africa-born Conway made 126, including a century from 95 balls, and shared a record 159-run partnership with Mitchell as New Zealand made 318-6 batting first after winning the toss. Mitchell took 17 runs from the 50th over to complete his century, in 92 balls, from the last delivery of the innings.
Matt Henry then crashed through the Bangladesh top order, taking 3-13 from his first four overs to undermine the tourists’ reply.
Bangladesh slumped to 26-3 when Trent Boult pulled off a spectacular catch at third man to dismiss Litton Das, and eventually was all out for 154 in the 43rd over.
Mahmudullah prolonged the innings with an unbeaten 76 for Bangladesh, and Jimmy Neesham returned career-best ODI figures of 5-27 for New Zealand.
Earlier, Conway’s steady 110-ball innings led New Zealand’s rally after it had been 57-3 in the 11th over.
Mitchell provided the drama at the end with his race against time to reach his hundred.
He came to the last over on 83 and hit three fours from the first three balls from Mustafizur Rahman, the third from a no ball, to go to 95.
Mitchell and Mitchell Santner scrambled two runs from the ensuing free hit but Mitchell managed only a single to be 98 and off strike with two balls remaining.
Santner hit the next ball deep into the outfield and, taking advantage of the ground’s broad boundaries, the pair sprinted through for three runs to bring Mitchell back on strike.
He clipped the final ball into the leg side and the pair stretched a single into two, helped by a loose throw from the field.
“There was obviously a bit of running there and I was blowing a bit,” Mitchell said.
“It was nice to get the job done and Dev (Conway) batted awesomely to get a score for us. For me it was just about being positive, trying to pick your moments to put pressure on them and try to get a bit of luck along the way.”
Conway’s century, his first for New Zealand in any format, followed his unbeaten 99 in a Twenty20 international against Australia in February.
There is nothing showy about Conway’s style; he accentuates technical correctness over any kind of flourish.
But he has become a relentless run-maker in both domestic and international cricket since transferring his allegiance from Gauteng and South Africa to Wellington and New Zealand in 2017.
Conway has been a fund of runs for New Zealand in white ball cricket since his debut in November, making 366 runs in 11 T20 internationals at an average of 52.2 and now 225 runs in three one-day internationals at 75.
“I think for me it’s about trying to keep it nice and simple, keeping a positive mindset,” he said. “Credit to Daryl, he came in and played his natural, positive game.”
Conway went to the crease on the sun-drenched Basin Reserve with New Zealand 44-1 in the eighth over after a sound opening partnership between Martin Guptill and Henry Nicholls (18).
Guptill (26) was out soon afterwards and Ross Taylor’s return to the New Zealand team after missing the first two matches of the series with a hamstring strain wasn’t fruitful.
He was out for 7 in the 11th over when New Zealand 57-3.
Conway began rebuilding the New Zealand innings in a 63-run fourth wicket partnership with stand-in captain Tom Latham, who made 18 before falling to the first ball from Soumya Sarkar.
Mitchell took time to establish himself, taking only nine runs from his first 23 balls before launching a ball from Mehidy Hasan Miraz over mid-wicket for six. Mitchell and Conway forged an ideal partnership in which Conway provided solidity and steady accumulation and Mitchell was able to hit out judiciously, reaching his half century from 63 balls.
Conway went to his century with an elevated cut shot off Taskin Ahmed and his partnership with Mitchell became New Zealand’s highest for the fifth wicket against Bangladesh, and the highest for any wicket in a one-day international on the Basin Reserve.
“The two guys (Conway and Mitchell) batted beautifully,” Bangladesh captain Tamim Iqbal said. “They didn’t give us any chances.
“But sometimes the small things hurt you more, the dropped catches and run-out chances. New Zealand was exceptional throughout the series. We were just not good enough.