Bangladesh skipper eyes more success after NZ win

Published: Friday, October 10, 2008, 13:03 [IST]
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Bangladesh skipper Mohammad Ashraful Friday said his team are well on the way to becoming a competitive force after beating New Zealand for the first time in 12 one-day internationals.

Bangladesh upset the Black Caps here on Thursday to go 1-0 up in the three-match series against the side chasing the second spot in the one-day rankings.

"I have said this before, if we do well in all three departments then we stand a good chance of being competitive. Thursday's performance was proof of that and it should pave the way for more wins," said Ashraful.

The captain hit an unbeaten 60 to guide the home team to a seven-wicket win, reaching their modest 202-run target with 4.3 overs to spare.

The sensational win was set up by paceman Mashrafe Mortaza (4-44) and left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak (3-32), who restricted New Zealand to their lowest one-day total of 201-9 against Bangladesh.

Left-handed opener Zunaed Siddique then scored a brilliant 85 for his maiden half-century to establish a base for a comfortable run-chase.

The two teams meet again in the second match here on Saturday. The third and final match is at Chittagong on Tuesday.

Ashraful believed winning the toss was crucial.

"The toss was very important. With the overnight rain and the cloud cover we needed the bowlers to have a go first. I want to compliment everyone, especially Mashrafe (Mortaza) and Razzak, who set up the win for us," he said.

New Zealand's previous lowest total against Bangladesh was 224 at Chittagong in 2004.

The win comes despite the defection of 14 Bangladeshi players to the rebel Indian Cricket League, badly hitting the balance of the team.

Bangladesh's Australian coach Jamie Siddons said the team looked good despite the problems.

"Losing players from the group is never good and I hope that doesn't happen again but the team looked good out there and everyone was motivated to overcome the loss," said Siddons.

New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori said his team did not respect the conditions.

"We can't take anything away from Bangladesh, who I thought used the conditions a lot better than us. It was overcast and damp and as captain, you want to bowl first on that wicket, he added.

A 3-0 win for the Black Caps would have propelled them to the number two spot in the International Cricket Council one-day rankings behind Australia.

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