Cricket: NZ need to get nose in front early

By David Leggat

The form of Colin Munro was one positive from the 3-0 series sweep at the hands of Bangladesh. Photo / Getty
The form of Colin Munro was one positive from the 3-0 series sweep at the hands of Bangladesh. Photo / Getty

New Zealand have won their two T20 internationals against Bangladesh easily; but the way things have gone in the last week that record looks as solid as a Melbourne Cup tip.

Bangladesh cricket is on a high, thanks to their drawn test series, and 3-0 ODI sweep over New Zealand. Why would they not back themselves to send New Zealand on to Sri Lanka, far tougher opponents than the Bangladeshis, with tails wedged between legs.

At the last meeting, Brendon McCullum belted 123 off 58 balls in Pallekele at the world T20 last year. However the skipper is not around, having returned home to rest his back.

The Sri Lankan tour has the makings of leaving New Zealand with some serious rehab when they get home.

The ODI series loss moved ninth-placed Bangladesh to one point behind New Zealand - 83 chasing 84 - but should New Zealand win tonight they'll climb a spot to seventh, over Australia, on T20 standings.

Right now, New Zealand will take whatever bright spots they can.

Finding positives out of the limited-overs leg in Bangladesh has not been easy. However Auckland lefthander Colin Munro provided one in his first game of the series, with a rapid 85 off 77 balls, including heavy use of a reverse sweep.

''Hopefully I put my hand up to say that I can play in the sub continent, and going forward to Sri Lanka I can play that first one-dayer,'' Munro said. ''I have to just keep doing what I'm doing and keep backing it up. You can't rely on one score every now and again.''

Allrounder Jimmy Neesham is out of today's game with the groin injury which forced him out of the third ODI.

The momentum is all with the hosts, who have had their passionate crowds in raptures.

New Zealand, shorn of senior players, must find a way to do a Damien Oliver and get their noses in front and stay there tonight.

- NZ Herald

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