ODI World Cup 2023: Kane Williamson’s return helps New Zealand defeat Bangladesh for the third time in a row

In a display of cricketing finesse, New Zealand extended their triumphant streak in the ongoing ODI World Cup, clinching a resounding third consecutive win in a thrilling encounter against Bangladesh. Guided by the return of their esteemed skipper, Kane Williamson, who notched up a commanding 78 runs, and a stellar, unbeaten performance by Daryl Mitchell (89), the Blackcaps delivered a masterful performance, successfully chasing down the target of 246 runs with 43 balls to spare. The stage for this enthralling showdown was the hallowed grounds of the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. In stark contrast, Bangladesh, after an opening victory against Afghanistan, faced their second consecutive defeat.

The journey to victory was not without its share of challenges for New Zealand. The early loss of Rachin Ravindra, who contributed just 9 runs in the first powerplay, served as a reminder of the steep climb that lay ahead. However, the arrival of Kane Williamson at the crease, along with Devon Conway (45), breathed fresh life into New Zealand’s pursuit. The duo put together a commendable 80-run partnership for the second wicket. Nevertheless, the spirited Bangladeshi side found their opportunity when Shakib Al Hasan dismissed Williamson.

The heart of the matter lay in the partnership that followed, led by Kane Williamson and Daryl Mitchell, who combined forces to forge an impressive 108-run stand for the third wicket. Their synchronized efforts appeared to be steering New Zealand to victory when a sudden turn of events raised concerns. Williamson, with an admirable score of 78, was compelled to retire hurt after suffering an excruciating injury to his right thumb. The injury left him in pain and necessitated his departure from the field. This setback was particularly disheartening given that Williamson had been grappling with a knee injury prior to the commencement of the World Cup and had not participated in the initial two matches. Moreover, the Blackcaps already found themselves missing the services of Tim Southee due to a similar injury.

Before the drama surrounding Williamson’s injury, New Zealand had orchestrated a formidable bowling performance, spearheaded by Lockie Ferguson, who claimed three crucial wickets, effectively breaking the backbone of Bangladesh’s batting lineup. Vice-captain Liton Das suffered the ignominy of a golden duck, being dismissed on the very first ball of the match. The top scorer for Bangladesh was Mushfiqur Rahim, who valiantly contributed 66 runs. In addition, Trent Boult and Matt Henry chipped in with two wickets each, leading Bangladesh to a total of 245/9.

Looking ahead, New Zealand will continue their campaign as they face the underdog team Afghanistan on Wednesday (October 18) at the same venue in Chennai. A fourth consecutive victory is within their grasp, adding to the excitement of their forthcoming showdown against the formidable hosts, India, on Sunday (October 22). Meanwhile, Bangladesh will make their next appearance on the field against the host nation, India, in Pune on Thursday.

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