Stand-in New Zealand captain Tom Latham led from the front with a century as his side wrapped up the tri-nation series title with a convincing 190-run victory over hosts Ireland at Malahide Cricket Club Ground in Dublin, on Sunday.
Although the Black-caps have already won the tri-nation series with a match to spare, they will face Bangladesh in the sixth and last match of the series, on Wednesday. The match is very important for the Tigers as it’s a must win game for them to move their position to number 6 in the ICC ODI ranking for the first time.
But the match is definitely not going to be an easy task for Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and his co. as Tom Latham led New Zealand will also be desperate for a win in the last match of the series.
The 25-year old stand-in captain said, his team are desperate to perform even better than what they did against Ireland in their way to 190-run victory.
“We want to improve again on what we did today (Sunday) and if we can do that then hopefully we can hit the Champions Trophy running. With a tournament like that it’s important you start well. To date we’ve played some pretty good cricket,” Latham told.
The wicket-keeper batsman though was brilliant throughout the series, still he will have to fight for a place in the Champions Trophy playing XI with his team mate Luke Ronchi who was also brilliant throughout the tri-nation series as the Indian Premier League brigade including skipper Kane Williamson finally arrive in the UK this week.
Apart from them only three others – Ross Taylor, Neil Broom and Mitchell Santner are sure bets to play against the world champions. As Champions Trophy knocking at the door and only match left before the final team submission, Latham wants to make it difficult for the Blackcaps selectors ahead of the tournament.
“It’s a great problem for the selectors to have. The more the other guys can step up and keep contributing the better that is. The more competition we have for spots hopefully the better cricketers we become,” Latham concluded.