Anderson's 94* wipes out Bangladesh
Observer Online Desk
Corey Anderson ushered in 2014 with the then fastest ODI century off just 36 balls. He threatened to shellack the fastest T20I century in the second week of 2017 with another assault of that ilk. His unbeaten 94 off 41 balls - studded with 10 sixes, the most by a New Zealander in T20 internationals - headlined the hosts' whitewash of Bangladesh at Mount Maunganui.
He added 124 - a New Zealand record for the fourth wicket in T20Is, narrowly surpassing the 123 added by Colin Munro and Tom Bruce on Friday - with his captain Kane Williamson, who crafted his second half-century in his last three innings. They ensured New Zealand offset the early wobble - they were pinned down to 41 for 3 in 6.1 overs - and then soared to 194 for 4. In reply, Bangladesh started brightly with a 44-run opening stand, but they ultimately faded to a 27-run loss.
It was Williamson who made the early running. He slapped Shakib with a vertical bat as well as horizontal bat for back-to-back boundaries in fourth over. Jimmy Neesham - Williamson's third opening partner in three matches - flickered briefly before Rubel had him lbw for 15. Four balls later, Colin Munro shovelled a catch to deep square leg for a three-ball duck.
Mosaddek Hossain then struck with his first ball to dismiss Tom Bruce for 5. Mosaddek and Shakib then allowed only 14 runs in the next four overs; all via singles.
With the spinners offering little flight and attacking the stumps, Williamson resorted to shuffling across the stumps and down the track. He did not always look pretty, and even fell on the floor while attempting a wild slog, but launched a six onto the roof of the ground. He then pushed the team past 100 with a whipped four.
Anderson then took charge of the innings a brace of leg-side clubs off Mashrafe Mortaza in the next over. He hit full tilt when he slogged part-time medium-pacer Soumya Sarkar for a hat-trick over sixes over cow corner. The second blow raised his fifty off 27 balls, but the third - a violent swipe against a full ball - was the pick of the lot. It sailed over the grassbanks and landed on a Thai curry stall.
From thereon it was all a blur. Anderson hoisted Rubel over long-off, and when he melted out the same treatment to Taskin Ahmed in the last over of the innings for his ninth six, he snatched the record for most sixes by a New Zealander in a T20 innings. Brendon McCullum had hit eight against Australia in Christchurch in 2010.
Anderson put the seal on the innings with another clean six and walked back to a rousing reception.