• Bangla Desk

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Skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza is out to better Bangladesh’s poor record on New Zealand soil as they prepare to take on the hosts in the opening match of a month-long tour.

The first ODI of the three-match series is set to begin at Hagley Oval in Christchurch at 4am BdST on Monday.

The Tigers’ only success in the Black Caps’ backyard came just a year ago in the World Cup when they beat Scotland, bdnews24.com.

Bangladesh have played 160 ODIs abroad, winning only 37 of those. They have lost all seven 50-over games played against New Zealand on their home turf, where they are yet to see success in other formats too.

The captain is optimistic, however, about breaking the cycle of failure in their first overseas tour after about two years.

“Obviously our mentality is not like before. Now we don’t carry any negative thoughts...,” Mashrafe said on Sunday.

“Bad days can come even now but we are mentally positive about doing something good,” he added.

In their first New Zealand tour in 2007, Bangladesh suffered massive defeats – by six wickets, by 102 runs on Duckworth-Lewis method and by 10 wickets.

They also began their 2010 tour there with a crushing 146-run rout and went on to lose the next two matches by five and three wickets. In their last ODI meeting in the 2015 World Cup, Bangladesh showed promise but ended up slipping to a three-wicket loss.

But the Tigers had thrashed New Zealand by seven wickets in their last meeting on home soil while the statistics show they have steadily cut the margin of defeat at their opponents’ turf.

This fact has made the Tigers upbeat ahead of the first ODI.

“The truth is that our mindset this time is completely different. But we must also remember that New Zealand is a place where all other teams struggle. There is no reason why it will be different for us. But we have to try keeping that in mind,” Mashrafe said.

Mashrafe will lead a team that have the experience of Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah on their side, while there is no shortage of young match winners with Mustafizur Rahman, Sabbir Rahman, Soumya Sarkar and Mehedi Hasan Miraz in the ranks.

The numbers, too, show how far Bangladesh have come over the years. They have won 21 of their last 29 ODIs, where the batsmen have scored at a rate of 5.48 runs and the bowlers given away 4.44 runs per over.

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