New Zealand win sixth game in a row
New Zealand recorded their sixth successive win at the 2015 World Cup as they beat Bangladesh by three wickets.
Chasing 289 to win, the co-hosts reached 290-7 with seven balls to spare, with Martin Guptill scoring 105, Ross Taylor 56 and Grant Elliott 39.
Bangladesh had earlier posted 288-7 from their 50 overs in Hamilton, with Mahmudullah making an unbeaten 128 for his second century in two matches.
New Zealand, who remain unbeaten, had already secured top spot in Pool A.
The Kiwis, who have lost six World Cup semi-finals, will face either Pakistan, Ireland or West Indies in the quarter-finals in Wellington on Saturday, 21 March.
And they showed why they are one of the favourites to win the competition with a hard-fought victory after they had won the toss and elected to bowl first.
“Bangladesh did a very good job of keeping themselves in the game, picking up those two wickets early doors opened the game up.
“But Guptill kept the momentum going, playing risk-free cricket, and there were only small margins in it but New Zealand made it look comfortable.”
In an excellent, hostile opening spell, Trent Boult claimed the wickets of Imrul Kayes and Tamim Iqbal as Bangladesh struggled to 29-2 after 10 overs.
New Zealand should have quickly taken a third wicket but Mahmudullah was dropped on 0 by Guptill and, in the following over, on one by Corey Anderson.
Those missed chances proved costly as Mahmudullah, who scored 103 against England in his last match, hit the highest one-day score of his career.
He was helped by Soumya Sarkar’s 51 for his maiden one-day international half-century, before Sabbir Rahman blasted 40 off 23 balls to help set a challenging total.
The Kiwis looked in trouble at 33-2 after Shakib Al Hasan dismissed Brendon McCullum and Kane Williamson.
However, Guptill, who will play for Derbyshire in this year’s County Championship before New Zealand begin their tour of England, put his side in control by scoring 11 fours and two sixes in his 100-ball knock.
In a thrilling finish, New Zealand fell from 210-3 to 269-7 as Shakib ended with 4-55, but Daniel Vettori (16 not out) and Tim Southee (12 not out) saw them home after a rapid 39 from Anderson.
Defeat means Bangladesh finish fourth in Pool A and will play India in the quarter-finals in Melbourne on Thursday, 19 March.
Bangladesh captain Shakib said: “It was a tough day. We batted, bowled and fielded well. They bowled well in the first 10 overs when it was swinging, but we adjusted to the conditions and put a decent total on.
“These games will help us improve our confidence and I hope we have a very good game in the quarter-finals.”
Man of the match Guptill said: “We have a lot of belief and the way we are executing our skills is pleasing. We just need to keep that up over the next few weeks.”