Maybe that was the situation, maybe it was the opposition, or maybe it was just a chance. But maybe only black hats have decided one of their main problems for the Cricket World Cup.
Whatever the reason, the facts are the same – for the first time since 2017, the black hats created a one hundred-year partnership to open the ODI door, as Martin Guptil and Henry Nichols led their country to an eight-door victory in Bangladesh their second stand as a combination of the highest order in New Zealand.
Guptill (117 did not come out) and Nicholls (53) added 103 for the first loop, impressively completing a series of 16 ODIs where New Zealand failed to gather an open stand by more than 34 people.
Of course, they were not under great pressure. Chasing 233 at the relatively small boundaries of McLein Park at Nepair, Guptil and Nicols could have taken the time to build an inn with Nicols at a stage that was scratched at 19 of 42 balls.
Obviously, this would not be enough if he first pushed where he would have to take a more aggressive approach in seeking the desired amount of at least 300. And while we still have to see that the strategy is paid after year of failure finally Black caps can have some confidence in their opportunities to open in the World Cup.
Maybe this – enhancing morality – is all about this series. The early signs are that Bangladesh will look a lot like Sri Lanka – there will be some promising moments, but ultimately they should not challenge if something goes wrong for Black hats.
If that sounds rude, Bangladesh has not done much to inspire positivity. Matt Henry and Trent Boult shone again with the new ball after the visitors were reduced to the first 42-4, then 94-6, and while Mohammad Mithun (62) and Mohammad Saifuddin (41) led them to 232, their blasters showed up – a small decision, as their best options are economical, not a threat to taking loopholes.
While the inability of Black Caps to finish the innings – for a second consecutive ODI – may cause some concern, the shape of Henry and Boult is undoubtedly positive. As a new partnership, Henry and Boult have already gathered to take 17 doors in the last three games, averaging 12.5, and get enough help from Lockie Ferguson (2-44) and Mitchell Santner (3-45). ) to make the target simple enough for the lure.
Then, after batting a bat against India, the black hats would be supported by how they routinely pursued him. While Kane Williamson's rough spot continued – now eight games in all formats, not reaching 40 – Guptill finished his worst form. After not having passed 15 in his last six ODIs, Guptill looked at his best success in reaching his 15th ODI century of 103 balls and Ross Taylor added an unbeaten 45, the hosts traveled to the home with 33 balls.
Bangladesh is left without a win in New Zealand – now 0-11 – and if today was some indication, there may be two more victories – and some much needed confidence – to head off the Black Hat.