Pallekele: Brendon McCullum's superb record-setting century led New Zealand to a thumping 59-run win over Bangladesh in the ICC World Twenty20 on Friday. McCullum pummelled 123 off 58 balls and hammered 11 fours and seven sixes in a strong Kiwi total of 191 for 3.
Nasir Hossain played a lone fight and scored 50 off 39 balls as Bangladesh settled for 132 for 8 with Tim Southee (3 for 16) and Kyle Mills (3 for 33) doing the damage.
McCullum was dropped by Mashrafe Mortaza on 92 but in the same over he hit the left-arm spinner Elias Sunny for two successive boundaries and raised his century off 51 balls, the second-fastest ever.
McCullum became the first man to score two T20 centuries — and the highest ever — before he holed out in the deep off the last ball of the innings. His previous best T20 knock came against Australia at Christchurch in 2010 when he remained unbeaten on 116.
Bangladesh bowlers had no answer to McCullum's brilliance as he ruthlessly smashed seamers and spinners after New Zealand were asked to bat at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.
"Some days it comes off, some days it doesn't. You've got to be prepared to take risks," McCullum said. "In this game you've got to keep trying, and when it comes off, it helps the team."
After Martin Guptill (11) went early in left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak's first over, McCullum dominated the 94-run stand with James Franklin (35) off 65 balls. Franklin departed in the 15th over when he gave a skier to Sunny and Bangladesh looked to be in the game at 113 for 2.
However, McCullum tormented the attack in the last four overs as he cut loose and gathered 63 runs with his captain Ross Taylor (14 not out).
Razzak was the most successful bowler with 2 for 28, but even he conceded 16 runs in the last over of the innings before getting McCullum's wicket.
Bangladesh's chase got off track when Mills removed the top three batsmen — Tamim Iqbal (0), Shakib Al Hasan (11) and captain Mushfiqur Rahim (4) — in his first three overs. Hossain showed a glimpse of how effective he could be if Bangladesh had used him up in the batting order by hitting six fours and a six. But by the time Hossain got his act together, the asking rate had gone beyond 15 an over.
Southee recovered well from a bad stomach before the match and also got amongst the wickets that included Hossain, who lofted the seamer over mid-on but was smartly caught by Guptill close to the boundary skirtings.
New Zealand next meet Pakistan in a probable Group D decider on Sunday. Bangladesh will take on Pakistan next Tuesday, with the top two teams making the Super Eights.