Black Caps contenders queuing up for Champions Trophy after clinical tri-series match win over Bangladesh video

New Zealand's Hamish Bennett took 3-31 in his first ODI in more than three years, as they beat Bangladesh by four wickets.
OISIN KENIRY/INPHO

New Zealand's Hamish Bennett took 3-31 in his first ODI in more than three years, as they beat Bangladesh by four wickets.

Job done, comfortably enough, for New Zealand's cricketers in Dublin. Now for the selection head-scratchers.

Thanks to Hamish Bennett's 3-31 on return from a three-year absence, and man of the match Jimmy Neesham's rapid 52 from 48 balls, the Black Caps beat Bangladesh by four wickets at Clontarf Cricket Club to remain unbeaten in the one-day international tri-series.

Next up are the hosts back at Malahide on Sunday night (NZT), where Indian Premier League returnees Corey Anderson, Adam Milne and Matt Henry are expected to be available, before offspinner Jeetan Patel comes in for the Bangladesh rematch next Wednesday.

Allrounder Jimmy Neesham had a smile on his face after a man of the match performance against Bangladesh.
OISIN KENIRY/INPHO

Allrounder Jimmy Neesham had a smile on his face after a man of the match performance against Bangladesh.

Anderson's presence made Neesham's all-round effort more significant.

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Captain Tom Latham led impressively again but was unhappy with the fielding in his side's four-wicket win over ...
OISIN KENIRY/INPHO

Captain Tom Latham led impressively again but was unhappy with the fielding in his side's four-wicket win over Bangladesh in Dublin.

Neesham is the ODI incumbent at No 6 as Anderson returns to full bowling fitness via light workloads in the IPL. Neesham's bowling has given coach Mike Hesson headaches and was again a mixed bag in his 2-68 off nine overs, but he underlined his status as the side's top allrounder.

"I used to feel that [selection pressure] but probably not so much any more," Neesham said.

"The vibe we've got in the group is just doing what you can to make the team win and those selection issues will take care of themselves. Corey is over from the IPL and he's available for the next game so I'm not sure how the team makeup will go after that."

With wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi now opening with licence to swing in the Brendon McCullum mould - he scored 27 off 27 balls against Bangladesh before misjudging a slower ball - New Zealand will play two allrounders and potentially both spinners Patel and Mitchell Santner in their Champions Trophy opener against Australia at Edgbaston on June 2.

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Colin de Grandhomme will likely be the other allrounder in their Champions Trophy XI, leaving Anderson trying to dislodge Neesham. De Grandhomme, Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill, Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Mitchell McClenaghan are the final IPL contingent to join the squad in London next Thursday.

Just six of the XI who overhauled Bangladesh's total of 257-9 with 15 balls remaining are in the Champions Trophy squad. Bennett isn't one of them but must be strongly considered if one of Boult, Southee, Milne or McClenaghan break down. Teams can make changes to their 15-man squads for any reason up till next Thursday.

At 30, and having played his most recent ODI against India in January 2014, Bennett's return was the feelgood story of Clontarf. Bustling in and making opener Soumya Sarkar hop about the crease with the short ball, Bennett went wicketless in his first seven overs before snaring 3-10 in his final spell.

New ball partner Seth Rance, who took some stick with the ball not swinging much, snared all three catches as Bennett delivered at the death to leave Bangladesh 20 short of their ideal score, according to captain Mashrafe Mortaza. The highly impressive Santner and legspinner Ish Sodhi took a combined 3-76 off 20 overs to apply the brakes in the middle stages.

Said Neesham of Bennett: "He brings a lot to the group, he's a bit of a character and always keeps smiles on people's faces.

"All 14 or 15 of us here would be happy to see him get a result after a fair amount of time on the sideline. He was picked because he's one of the best death bowlers in New Zealand and he showed that today."

The Black Caps' ground fielding was sloppy and the chase should have been even easier on a tricky surface with a short straight boundary. Neesham said he never felt in on the sluggish pitch but he clattered the fence at the right times to keep New Zealand ahead of the required rate, bashing anything short.

Latham, now two from two as captain and looking the part as a leader, anchored the chase with 54 off 64 balls then Neil Broom (48 off 65) continued his strong start to the tour to help Neesham add 80.

"We bowled a bit better than 260-odd. If we're honest with ourselves our fielding let us down a bit, and 20-30 runs went begging. You've got to chase the target you're set and doing it with 12 balls to spare or whatever, was ideal," Neesham said.

 - Stuff

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