Tigers eye series win in 3rd T20I against NZ

Bangladesh national cricket team is looking forward to carry on their winning streak against New Zealand as the hosts take on the visitors in their third of the five-match Twenty20 series at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium today. With already 2-0 up in the series, the Tigers can register their maiden T20 series win over the Black Caps with a win today. T Sports, GTV and BTV will live telecast the game at 4:00pm.
Before the series, Bangladesh played 10 Twenty20 matches against New Zealand and lost all of them.
After winning the first two matches, Bangladesh now sit sixth in the ICC T20I rankings after the table was last updated by cricket’s global governing body on Friday.
‘We won the first match well against New Zealand. However, the second match was very difficult. If we win another match up front, we will win the series. I think if we keep the process right, we will do better,’ said spinner Taijul Islam on Saturday.
Tigers pulsating four run win against the Kiwis of Friday took them over Australia to number six in the rankings.
Bangladesh now have 241 rating points while Australia, who were hammered 4-1 in their five-match T20 series by the Tigers last month, have 240 rating points.
The hosts had started their ongoing series against the Kiwis being at number 10, with 234 rating points.
With a convincing seven-wicket win in the first T20, where the Tigers bundled out the Kiwis for their joint-lowest T20 total of 60, Bangladesh had earlier jumped three places — from 10 to 7 — in the list.
Mahmudullah’s troops now sit above the likes of Australia, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and West Indies respectively.
Bangladesh also have the possibility of toppling number 5th ranked South Africa (246 points) and sit at number five in the ratings at the end of their series against New Zealand.
For that to happen, the Tigers would need to win all the five T20s against the Kiwis and that will see Bangladesh gain 248 rating points.
And for team’s recent success in the shortest format of the game, Taijul hailed the bowlers, especially pacer Mustafizur Rahman.
The second T20 against the Kiwis went right down to the wire as Mustafiz bowled a waist-high no in the final over and brought the equation down to eight from the final two deliveries for the Black Caps with the penultimate delivery being a free-hit.
Mustafiz, however, kept his nerve and gave away just three runs in the final two deliveries as Bangladesh restricted New Zealand to 137-5.
‘The game went on till the last over. Mustafiz is also bowling well. Other bowlers are bowling well too.’
During his long seven-year career, Taijul only played two T20s and the last one he represented his country was back in 2019 against Afghanistan at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram.
Usually considered a Test specialist, the left-arm spinner was called-up again for the T20 series against Australia last month and also in the ongoing series against the Kiwis.
Despite being in the squad, the 29-year spinner has failed to find a place in the first eleven against the Aussies and the Kiwis. But he is not frustrated by it at all.
‘I wouldn’t have got this atmosphere if I was out of the team. Being here, I am getting help from Rangana Herath, the spin bowling coach, batting coach and other support staff, who are supporting me in many ways. What I want, I get it easily here. I think it’s very good for future,’ said Taijul.

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