All the action from the second ODI between the Black Caps and Bangladesh at Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

Maybe it was the situation, maybe it was the opposition, or maybe it was simple probability. But maybe, just maybe, the Black Caps have solved one of their main problems for the Cricket World Cup.

Whatever the reason may be, the facts are the same – for the first time since 2017, the Black Caps produced a century partnership for the opening wicket of an ODI, as Martin Guptill and Henry Nicholls led their side to an eight-wicket win against Bangladesh, in just their second stab as New Zealand's top-order combination.

Guptill (117 not out) and Nicholls (53) added 103 for the first wicket, impressively ending a streak of 16 ODIs where New Zealand had failed to put together an opening stand of more than 34.


Sure, they weren't under much pressure. Chasing 233 at the relatively small confines of Napier's McLean Park, Guptill and Nicholls could take their time to build an innings, with Nicholls at one stage scratching around on 19 off 42 balls.

Obviously, that wouldn't be good enough if batting first, where they would have had to take a more aggressive approach in a quest for their desired total of at least 300. And while we are still yet to see that strategy pay off, after over a year of failure, finally the Black Caps can have some confidence in their opening options going into the World Cup.

Perhaps that – boosting morale – is all this series is good for. The early signs are that Bangladesh will be much like Sri Lanka – there will be some promising moments, but ultimately they shouldn't challenge unless something goes utterly wrong for the Black Caps.