Vettori, McCullum lead NZ rout of Bangladesh

Daniel Vettori and Brendon McCullum put in record performances as New Zealand thrashed Bangladesh by 10 wickets with 44 overs to spare in a one-day international on Monday.

Bangladesh were all out for 93 in the 38th over, with Vettori returning a magnificent 5-7, and then McCullum blasting the Bangladesh bowlers out of the park as New Zealand reached their target in just six overs.

The astounding performance, where the match was over before the scheduled first-innings break, sealed a 3-0 series clean sweep for New Zealand.

”We asked for an improvement from our first two performances and I think we got a complete performance today [Monday],” said Vettori, the New Zealand skipper, downplaying his wicket-taking exploits in favour of McCullum’s big hitting.

”It was one of the most destructive innings you could ever see,” he said. ”He was clearing the ropes with good shots. He didn’t seem to mis-hit any.”

McCullum’s unbeaten 80 came off 28 balls included a contemptuous nine fours and six sixes.

Along the way he posted the fastest one-day half century by a New Zealander, from 19 balls, and he missed equalling the world record by three deliveries.

At the other end, Jamie How was a virtual spectator, contributing only seven of the 95 runs scored.

Vettori had earlier been the chief architect of Bangladesh’s dismissal.

Bangladesh’s stated aim before the match was to restore some pride by producing a competitive total after being comprehensively beaten in the first two matches.

Instead nothing went right for them from the time Vettori won the toss and chose to bowl.

In the history of international limited-over cricket in Queenstown, the team that won the toss has always bowled first and always won, mainly through pace bowling.

But it was Vettori’s spin magic that undid the Bangladeshis with his career best haul.

In the process he overtook Chris Harris as New Zealand’s leading one-day wicket taker, ending the innings with a 207 total, four ahead of his former teammate.

Vettori will also end 2007 as cricket’s most successful bowler for the calendar year with 43 victims, three clear of Indian paceman Zaheer Khan.

For Bangladesh, captain Mohammad Ashraful once again top-scored with 25 before being undone by his favourite pull shot when he delivered the ball straight into the hands of Jacob Oram at fine leg.

When Vettori brought himself on, he took the wickets of Aftab Ahmed and Shakib al-Hasan in one over and followed with the wickets of Farhad Reza and Mushfiqur Rahim in his next two overs before clean bowling Mashrafe Mortaza. — AFP



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