With the series in the bag, the only dampener for the hosts in the third and final T20I in Auckland could be rain
New Zealand are about to end their all-win home summer that has stretched seven series. They have hosted 21 international matches, the most by any country since the Covid-19 pandemic. It is regarded as an administrative success, particularly given their country’s stringent quarantine protocols. The only dampener is likely to be the rain in the forecast in Auckland for the season finale, the third T20I against Bangladesh.
A major strength for New Zealand has been their newcomers turning in superb contributions even after they have been put under pressure. In the second T20I in Napier, it was Glenn Phillips whose unbeaten half-century got them out of trouble and into a total that proved too much for Bangladesh amid confusion over the DLS-determined target. Daryl Mitchell helped Phillips in an unbroken 62-run sixth-wicket stand that came off just 27 balls.
In the first match, it was Devon Conway and debutant Will Young who got them into a position of strength. New Zealand will also be pleased with how Ish Sodhi has continued his good form throughout the summer despite playing only T20Is. During the ongoing T20I series in particular, Tim Southee’s captaincy has also stood out.
Come the third and final T20I on Thursday, they wouldn’t mind Martin Guptill getting a big score as he has been in threatening form since the ODI series against Bangladesh with his quick starts. Finn Allen, too, would be eyeing a sizeable score having made just 17 across two innings so far in this series. There’s going to be an opportunity to see who among Adam Milne, Lockie Ferguson and Hamish Bennett get to pair up in Auckland.