By Niall Anderson in Taunton

Before they stepped out onto The Oval to play the Black Caps, Bangladesh talked a big game about how they believed they had discovered New Zealand's weakness.

For 81 overs, there was precious little proof, but late in the piece, they may have produced their findings.

It wasn't enough for victory, but the Bangladeshi spin attack took six of the eight wickets to fall, including the crucial scalps which nearly caused the Black Caps to blow their chase of 245.


After Shakib Al Hasan removed both openers as part of his 2-47, Mosaddek Hossain (2-33) and Mehidy Hasan (2-47) sparked a middle-order collapse as the Black Caps slumped from 160-2 to 218-7.

Kane Williamson, Tom Latham and Jimmy Neesham were all dismissed by arguably ill-advised shots – trying to loft the spinners but only picking out fielders, while Ross Taylor's excellent 82 was ended in limp fashion by a nibble down the legside off Mosaddek.

Soumya Sarkar and Mosaddek Hossain celebrate the wicket of Jimmy Neesham. Photo / Photosport
Soumya Sarkar and Mosaddek Hossain celebrate the wicket of Jimmy Neesham. Photo / Photosport

It was a rather unconvincing display, and while the Black Caps credited Bangladesh's "quality spinners" after the game, Mosaddek averages 43 with the ball, and Mehidy also averages over 40 when not playing at home.

And yes, while Shakib definitely fits the definition of "quality", Bangladesh's options are a far cry from those of India, who loom after the Black Caps play Afghanistan – no shmucks themselves either at turning the ball.

So, expect the Black Caps to be reviewing their spin strategies, and closely reviewing the wicket at Taunton as they contemplate potentially utilising a second spinner of their own in Ish Sodhi to counter-balance Afghanistan's strong spin options.

If a lower, slower pitch is provided, Sodhi could be brought in for one of the seaming all-rounders, and join Mitchell Santner, who believes improvements need to be made by the Black Caps batsmen.

"We have to reflect on what happened, the way we played spin, and then move on and try and find ways to counteract what happened. It was nice to get over the line today but we've got to park that and move on pretty quick," said Santner.

"Credit has to go to the way [Bangladesh] bowled as well – we were cruising there for a little while but the way they stuck at it and got poles throughout that middle period, that put the pressure back on us and I guess we were lucky enough to get over the line."


Trent Boult – nervously padded-up after the spinning slump – also is expecting improvements to be made before taking on the likes of Afghanistan's star spinner Rashid Khan.

"A couple of guys might not be too happy with their shots or their modes of dismissal, but I'm sure they'll review that, look to mend a few wrongs, and take it to the Afghanistanis in a couple of days."

The Alternative Commentary Collective are podcasting their way through the World Cup. Known for their unconventional sports analysis and off-kilter banter, the ACC have come to ask the tough questions. Here's the latest episode of 'The Agenda':