New Zealand skipper Mitchell Santner took four wickets before a rearguard batting effort helped the hosts beat Bangladesh by 17 runs via the Duckworth–Lewis–Stern (DLS) method in the rain-hit third Twenty20 international on Sunday to level the series 1-1.
Santner elected to bowl after winning the toss and took 4-16 to help dismiss Bangladesh for a modest 110 at Mount Maunganui, leaving the tourists with a daunting task to seal their maiden series victory of any kind in New Zealand.
New Zealand collapsed to 49-5 in response after Mahedi Hasan and Shoriful Islam struck timely blows, but Santner (18 not out) and Jimmy Neesham (28 not out) held their nerve to take them to within 16 runs of victory when heavy rain halted play.
New Zealand were ahead of the DLS par score of 78 at that stage before the game was eventually called off.
“It got quite tight in the end,” Santner, who captained the side in Kane Williamson’s absence, told reporters.
“Credit to Bangladesh, their bowlers have bowled extremely well in both series and they put us under some pressure again today, and nice to get over the line in the end.”
Bangladesh sealed a five-wicket win in the series opener in Napier on Wednesday for their first T20 win on New Zealand soil, four days after beating the hosts in the last game of the three-match one-day international series which they lost 2-1.
The second T20 was washed out with no result.
The series was part of preparations for the T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the United States in June.
“As a squad Bangladesh have been outstanding. Their seamers obviously have done a very good job up front,” Santner said.
“We know how good their spinners are and then batting as well. It was a hard-fought series and same with the ODIs.”
Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusinghe said the team fell short of runs in the final match but the bowlers kept them in the game and the Sri Lankan expressed satisfaction with their attitude throughout the series.
“This young group had no fear,” Hathurusinghe added. “They wanted to compete. The leadership shown by Najmul Hossain Shanto was outstanding. Tactically he was spot on and very clear with messages to players.”