MOUNT MAUNGANUI: Corey Anderson made an unbeaten 94 from 41 balls and shared a 124-run partnership with captain Kane Williamson which guided New Zealand to 27-run win over Bangladesh Sunday and a 3-0 sweep of their Twenty20 cricket series.
The fourth wicket stand between Anderson and Williamson (60) allowed New Zealand to overcome a slow start and reach 194-4 after it was sent in, setting a challenging target for Bangladesh who were seeking their first win in New Zealand in six matches this summer. New Zealand previously won the three-match one-day international series 3-0.
Bangladesh, in contrast, made a strong start and reached 89-2 after 10 overs where New Zealand had been 55-3. But the tourists weren't able to quicken in the second half of their innings, finishing at 167-6.
The tourists were handicapped in their run chase by the loss of two players to injuries suffered in the field: opening batsman Imrul Kayes injured his knee tripping over an advertising hoarding while attempting a catch and captain Masrafe Mortaza will have scans on an injured thumb.
After once again laying the foundation for their first victory in New Zealand, Bangladesh was unable to capitalise, shut down by excellent bowling from spinners Ish Sodhi, who took 2-22 from his four overs, and Williamson who took 1-9 from two.
But the winning of the match was the innings of Anderson who hit a New Zealand record 10 sixes, surpassing the mark of eight set by Brendon McCullum. He needed 14 runs from the last three balls of the innings for a century but was unable to reach that milestone.
"I didn't know about the record but when you get in the mood like that you just hit the hills and hope for the best," Anderson said. "I think me and Kane realized we needed a few more runs to make the total defendible."
New Zealand lost the early wickets of James Neesham - promoted to open in the absence of wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi who has a groin injury - and Colin Munro, who made a century in the second match of the series on Friday but was out for a three-ball duck on Sunday.
New Zealand was in trouble when it lost Tom Bruce (5) in the seventh over when it was 44-3. But Williamson rebuilt the innings in partnership with Anderson, starting at first by taking regular singles then allowing Anderson to play his big-hitting game later in the innings.
Williamson reached his half century from 44 balls, was dropped by Shakib Al Hasan off Masrafe's bowling on 54 and went on to 60 before being bowled by Rubel Hossain, who finished with 3-31.
Anderson dashed to his half century from only 27 balls, including two fours and five sixes. He launched New Zealand's assault on the Bangladesh bowlers with two sixes among 22 runs from Masrafe's bowling, then took three consective sixes from Soumya Sarkar in the 17th over.
Tamim Iqbal and promoted opener Soumya Sarkar gave Bangladesh a fast start, with 52-1 after five overs. That contined when Sabbir Rahman came to the wicket and Bangladesh had knocked off almost half of its winning target by the mid-point of its innings.
But Sodhi bowled superbly to dry up the flow of runs, dismissing Sarkar for 42 and bowling Mahmdullah for 18 with a perfect wrong-un.
Williamson dismissed Sabbir (18) and the momentum went out of the Bangladesh run chase.