Litton Das steers Bangladesh to maiden away T20I victory over New Zealand
Litton Das led Bangladesh to their first-ever T20I victory on New Zealand soil, securing a five-wicket win in the opening match of the series in Napier.
Bangladesh secured their first-ever T20I win on New Zealand soil, defeating the hosts by five wickets in the opening match of the three-game series in Napier. Despite a challenging target of 135, Litton Das, the opener for Bangladesh, showcased composure and skill, guiding his team to a 1-0 lead over New Zealand. Litton played a crucial role as he witnessed early wickets and supported the chase, ultimately breaking new ground for Bangladesh in T20Is on New Zealand turf.
The Black Caps spinners initially provided hope for the home team by dismissing Rony Talukdar and Najmul Hossain Shanto early, defending a modest total of 134. However, Litton Das collaborated with Soumya Sarkar and Towhid Hridoy, steering Bangladesh to 96-4 after 13 overs. The visitors faced a momentary setback at 97-5 with three quick wickets, including the dismissal of Afif Hossain for one run in six deliveries.
Facing pressure, Litton Das shifted the momentum by hitting a crucial leg-side four off Adam Milne in the 16th over, followed by an impactful 10 runs against Ben Sears in the 18th. Sears' over, which included a boundary caught by Ish Sodhi but stepping beyond the boundary, released the grip New Zealand held on the game. Mahedi Hasan, the No. 7 batter, joined Litton to finish the match with a six over cover, two runs in the deep, and a well-placed boundary.
Earlier, New Zealand struggled in their batting innings, losing three wickets before posting a total of 134/9 in 20 overs. James Neesham top-scored with 48, while Shoriful Islam starred for Bangladesh with bowling figures of 3-26.
Brief score: New Zealand 134/9 (James Neesham 48, Mitchell Santner 23; Shoriful Islam 3-26) vs Bangladesh 137/5 (Litton Das 42*, Soumya Sarkar 22; James Neesham 1-7).