Sunday, June 16
ish sodhi

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Spotlight tracks Ish Sodhi’s leadership in guiding New Zealand to victory

In Mirpur, Ish Sodhi enjoyed a stellar day with both bat and ball, propelling New Zealand to an 86-run victory. Amidst his outstanding performance, there was an intriguing moment when he was run-out for straying too far from the non-striker’s end, only to be called back to resume his innings. His contribution of 35 runs off 39 balls was crucial in elevating New Zealand from 187 for 7 to a total of 254. Equally significant was his bowling performance, where he claimed an impressive 6 for 39, dismantling Bangladesh’s batting order.

Sodhi entered the bowling attack in the ninth over of the chase, with Bangladesh’s openers, Tamim Iqbal and Tanzid Hasan, looking strong after adding 23 runs in the previous two overs. Sodhi made an immediate impact, first luring Tanzid into a mistimed shot, resulting in a catch at mid-off, and then having Soumya Sarkar caught and bowled.

Towhid Hridoy’s effort to rebuild the innings was thwarted by a Sodhi googly that sent his stumps rattling. Tamim, the only well-set top-order batsman, fell victim to a sharply spinning delivery, caught by the wicketkeeper. Sodhi began his spell with Bangladesh at 42 for 1 in eight overs, and when it concluded, they were struggling at 93 for 5 in 19 overs, with Sodhi boasting figures of 4 for 29 off six overs.

Mahmudullah, playing his first ODI innings in six months, and Mahedi Hasan battled to deny New Zealand’s bowlers for over ten overs. They managed to find a boundary in each over after a 35-ball dry spell. However, Sodhi returned and dismissed Mahedi, shattering his stumps with the first ball of his new spell to claim his first ODI five-wicket haul.

Following a few quiet overs, Mahmudullah succumbed to a poor delivery, pulling a rank long-hop straight to Finn Allen at short fine leg, courtesy of Cole McConchie. Nasum Ahmed added some runs to the tally with a 30-ball 21, featuring two sixes. However, Bangladesh could only muster 19 more runs for the last three wickets, where Sodhi’s earlier batting contributions proved pivotal.

Sodhi was initially on 5 off 13, and New Zealand stood at 187 for 7 when Jamieson joined him in the 39th over. They managed to face three overs before Sodhi struck a length ball from Nasum over long-on for a six. Jamieson contributed with a couple of boundaries before being caught and bowled by Mahedi.

Then came the highlight of the innings – three balls into the 46th over, with New Zealand at 224 for 8, Hasan Mahmud ran out Sodhi for straying too far from the non-striker’s end. Sodhi walked off, sporting a smile, a sign that some players are adapting to this form of dismissal. However, moments later, Bangladesh’s stand-in captain Litton Das decided to withdraw the appeal and invited Sodhi back to continue his innings. Sodhi returned with an even bigger smile, embraced the bowler Mahmud, and guided New Zealand to a total of 254. He was on 17 off 26 when he was run out and subsequently recalled, ultimately scoring 35 off 39 balls with three sixes. New Zealand added 67 runs for the last three wickets.

At the start of the day, New Zealand chose to bat after winning the toss but faced early difficulties at 36 for 3. Mustafizur Rahman and Mahmud exploited the conditions effectively, with sharp bounce leading to the dismissal of Will Young for an eight-ball duck. Allen, who had started well with two consecutive fours, fell in the seventh over to Mustafizur after attempting a drive.

Henry Nicholls, tasked with rescuing the New Zealand innings for the second time in two ODIs, found support from Tom Blundell. They effectively navigated the challenges posed by Mahmud and debutant Khaled Ahmed, capitalizing on loose deliveries. This partnership, worth 95 runs, aided New Zealand’s recovery, although Mahedi and Nasum caused another setback.

With approximately 12 overs left and seven wickets down, New Zealand seemed to be in a precarious position, but Sodhi and his teammates capitalized on the opportunities presented to secure a commanding victory.