Bangladesh won the first two ODIs of the three-match series to take a series-winning 2-0 lead after the Test series ended 0-0. (AFP Photo)
Buoyed by the series-winning lead in the second ODI at Mirpur, Bangladesh have pressure off their minds while New Zealand will like to fly back home with at least one win in the third ODI at Fatullah on Sunday. Bangladesh won the first two games at Mirpur in the three-match ODI series after the Test series ended 0-0 following two drawn.
Rubel Hossain starred with his six-wicket haul in the first ODI to help Bangladesh win the rain-marred game by 43 runs (D/L). In the second ODI, their bowlers once again turned up in style with Sohag Gazi and comeback pacer Mashrafe Mortaza getting three wickets each to successfully defend 247 and win by 47 runs.
New Zealand, who have suffered their second series loss in Bangladesh after the 4-0 mauling in 2010, are upset but not perturbed, thinking of building towards the 2015 World Cup at home.
"We are trying to build a team towards the 2015 World Cup," said Kiwi pacer Kyle Mills said. "It is in 15 months' time and that's the most important thing right now...But we have learned a lot in the past few weeks."
But Bangladesh's series win is by no means small, considering they did it without star allrounder Shakib Al Hasan, who was diagnosed with dengue fever before the start of first ODI. Skipper Mushfiqur Rahim says he misses Shakib but was glad that the team overcame his absence to win back-to-back games.
"Shakib wasn't in the team. It is a big loss. He played very well against them last time [in 2010]. So I tried telling everyone that we shouldn't lose in our minds before we have actually lost."
Shakib was the highest run-scorer and wicket-taker in the 2010 series. Bangladesh named left-arm spinner Elias Sunny as cover for Shakib.
Bangladesh: Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque, Shamsur Rahman, Mominul Haque, Naeem Islam, Shakib Al Hasan, Nasir Hossain Ziaur Rahman, Sohag Gazi, Abdur Razzak, Mashrafe Mortaza, Al Amin Hossain, Rubel Hossain
New Zealand: Brendon McCullum (captain), Kane Williamson, Hamish Rutherford, Colin Munro, Ross Taylor, Anton Devcich, Grant Elliott, Tom Latham, Corey Anderson, Nathan McCullum, Adam Milne, James Neesham, Tim Southee, Mitchell McClenaghan, Kyle Mills