We are now confident to win the series: Shanto

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BSS, Dhaka :
Bangladesh Captain Najmul Hossain Shanto believes his side can achieve the record of winning all of the T20 series they play in a calendar year after their historical victory against New Zealand in three- match series opener on Wednesday.

Bangladesh beat the Kiwis by five wickets for their first victory on New Zealand soil and take 1-0 lead in the series. One more victory in the last two matches will give them the series, which will be their fourth straight series victory.

The Tigers could never end a year winning all of the series in any format of cricket so far.

Bangladesh however will play the last two T20I matches at Bay Oval in Maunt Maunganui, a venue where they got their landmark Test victory against New Zealand last year.

“The victory in Napier will be a boost for us for the last two T20s in Maunt Maunganui.

The second and third T20I is indeed very important for us since we want to win this series,” Shanto said after snapping nine-match losing streak in T20 format on New Zealand soil today.

“The boys are very confident.

But we should guard against the complacency and plan for the next two matches. I hope everyone will be alert in doing their job perfectly.”

Shanto won the all important toss and didn’t hesitate to send New Zealand in to bat first.

Bangladesh bowlers then came hard on New Zealand batters, reducing them to just one run for three wickets-which was the Kiwis’ worst start in T20I cricket.

Eventually New Zealand were able to put up 134-9.

Shoriful Islam led the charge with 3-26 while Mustafizur Rahman and Mahedi Hasan played second fiddle to him with 2-15 and 2-14 respectively. Bangladesh raced to the victory in 18.5 over with Liton Das hitting 36 ball-42 not out.

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“We are really happy to make a good start to the series by winning the first game.

We are proud of this achievement,” Shanto said.

“Our bowlers played vital role in winning the game for us.

They are quick learner.

Shoriful, Tanzim Hasan and Mustafizur Rahman bowled well with the new ball.

I am particularly impressed by the performance of Mahedi Hasan.

He was spinner but he thrived in pace friendly condition,” Shanto remarked.

But the victory didn’t come with ease.

Bangladesh lost wickets at regular intervals and at one phase, it looked they were in trouble. However Litton and Mahedi hit flurries of boundaries to help the side bring up the victory with seven balls to spare.

“Pressure at the end is the beauty of cricket. It’s always challenging to bat in this condition against a team like New Zealand.

But after restricting them to 134, we were confident about the victory,” he concluded.