The shape of the squad New Zealand will take to the ICC World Cup in England became clearer Wednesday as the hosts beat Bangladesh by 88 runs to complete a 3-0 sweep of the one-day international series.
New Zealand made 330-6 after Bangladesh bowled first for the first time in the series and Bangladesh was never in the hunt when it lost two wickets in the first over of its reply.
Tim Southee dismissed Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar for ducks within the first four balls, then removed Liton Das (1) in his next over to leave Bangladesh three down for one run on a tame batting pitch.
Sabbir Rahman led a middle-order revival, making a gallant 102 and putting on 101 for the sixth wicket for the sixth wicket with Mohammad Saifuddin (44) and 67 for the eighth with Mehedi Hasan (37). But Southee returned to finish off the lower order and to take 6-65 as Bangladesh was all out for 242.
Ross Taylor top-scored for New Zealand with 69 and in doing so passed Stephen Fleming (8,007 runs) to become New Zealand's leading run-scorer in one-day internationals. He had 8,026 runs in 218 ODIs by the end of his innings, at a remarkable average of 48.2.
Henry Nicholls and Tom Latham, both locks for the World Cup squad, made 64 and 59 respectively as part of a complete New Zealand batting performance.
Colin Munro, who was out for 8, was the only batsman to fail but is still likely to go to the World Cup as a backup batsman, though the top New Zealand batting lineup is now set with Henry Nicholls opening with Martin Guptill. Munro has only been past 50 twice in his last 20 one-day innings but the New Zealand selectors still value him for his big-hitting ability.
The allrounders who played Wednesday all did well with the bat. Colin de Grandhomme dashed an unbeaten 37 from 15 balls in inflate New Zealand's total and likely seal his place in the World Cup squad. Jimmy Neesham made 37 from 24 balls and Mitchell Santer 16 not out from nine.
Southee has been edged out of the new ball role in the New Zealand one-day side this summer but showed with his performance Wednesday that when he hits top pace he is still potent.
Trent Boult and Matt Henry will likely share the new ball at the World Cup in England with the speedster Lockie Ferguson coming on as first change.
Captain Kane Williamson then has to rely on some combination of Neesham, de Grandhomme, Santner and the spinner for the other 20 overs.
Coach Gary Stead has hinted New Zealand will take a specialist wicketkeeper and that role will likely go to Tim Seifert, who is also a hard-hitting top-order batsman.
Fast bowling allrounder Doug Bracewell is also in contention.
(With AP Inputs)