The Bangladesh cricket team eyed for at least a victory against New Zealand on their home soil before travelling. They would have preferred a win in ODIs that would give them the all-important points for ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Super League. They had a good enough preparation building up for the series as well. But all went in vain as the Tigers continued their winless streak in New Zealand.
Batting first, New Zealand posted a mammoth total of 318 thanks to Devon Conway and Daryl Mitchell, both of whom bagged their maiden ODI hundred. Bangladesh seemed helpless in the field and kept on missing chances on regular occasions. Their batting was terrible too and eventually ended the ODI series with a huge defeat of 164 runs.
Batting first, New Zealand were in early trouble. They were reduced to 57 for 3 at one stage and things were looking pretty good for the visitors. Skipper Tom Latham and Conway survived that early mess and put up a 63-run partnership.
In conditions offering some assistance for the seamers, Tamim Iqbal turned to the medium pace of Soumya Sarkar and he struck the first ball with Latham superbly caught at point by Mehidy Hasan. Latham was gone and the hosts were 120 for 4. Visitors had all the chance to get on the hosts and create pressure by picking up a few more wickets. But Conway and Daryl Mitchell had something else in mind.
The pair added 159 in 24 overs for the fifth wicket. Both reached their maiden ODI hundred while New Zealand as a whole got 107 off the last ten overs.
Conway did not hit a boundary between the 23rd and 37th overs, but the partnership got built at a good tempo.
For Conway, this was his fifth fifty-plus score in 12 international innings - including the 99 not out in a T20I against Australia - and he converted into a century from 95 balls with a lofted square cut for this 13th boundary. He got his chance in this series because Kane Williamson is missing, but surely there will be no dislodging him.
Mitchell's century needed a last-ditch sprint off the final ball of the innings and he should have been run out but Mushfiqur Rahim fumbled the return. With eight balls remaining, he had been on 83 before a six off Rubel Hossain followed by three consecutive boundaries at the start of the last over brought the hundred in sight.
Rubel Hossain was the pick of the bowlers despite being a tad expensive. He bagged 3 for 70 from his 10 overs. Taskin Ahmed had a pretty good day with the ball but he was again unlucky as he had to see catch being dropped off his own bowling for consecutive matches.
Mustafizur Rahman bagged a wicket but he was bashed all over the ground as he gave away 87 off his 10 overs.
In reply, Matt Henry knocked off the Bangladesh top order - with the aid of a spectacular catch at third man by Trent Boult - and the rest of the batting was insipid with the exception of Mahmudullah, as James Neesham filled his boots with a career-best haul by claiming the last two wickets in four balls.
Tamim Iqbal, one of Bangladesh's best hopes of making a dent on the chase, departed in the second over when he nicked a gem of a delivery from Henry. In Henry's next over, Sarkar top-edged to fine leg and there was already a sense the innings would not be much of a contest.
Mahmudullah Riyad top-scored with an unbeaten 76 off 73 deliveries. Towards the end, Mahmudullah and Rubel frustrated their bowlers.
Bangladesh had a terrible day in the field. Their butterfingers cost them massively and let the hosts pile up runs.
Bangladesh skipper Tamim Iqbal admitted that they 'simply didn't play good enough cricket' throughout the series.
"When you come here, you know the ball will nip around, will bounce more. You have to be patient. We played two many loose shots too early and when you are three down after ten over, the game is done. I am not the sort of person who will bring up quarantine issue or say we didn't get time to practice. Simply we didn't play good cricket," he said in the post-match ceremony.
"Sometimes small things hurt you a lot, catches, missed chances but credit to New Zealand, they were exceptional throughout the series," he added.
New Zealand skipper Tom Latham said their goal was always to clean sweep the series and now they look forward to improving.
"The goal was to come here and win 3-0. From here, it's about keep improving."
Devon Conway was adjudged both man of the match and man of the series for his outstanding performance with the bat.
New Zealand 318 for 6 (Conway 126, Mitchell 100*, Hossain 3-70) beat Bangladesh 154 (Mahmudullah 76*, Neesham 5-27, Henry 4-27) by 164 runs