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Latham smashes his way back into ODI form

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/12/2016
Tom Latham on his way to a century. © Martin Hunter/Getty Images Tom Latham on his way to a century.

Century-notching Blacks Caps opener Tom Latham has put a shaky Chappell-Hadlee series behind him with a virtuoso innings against Bangladesh.

The 24-year-old Cantabrian battered the Tigers attack to all parts of the ground on Boxing Day, compiling his highest ODI score of 137 runs from just 121 balls.

Alongside big-hitting all-rounder Colin Munro, who scored a quick-fire 87, Latham helped put on a thumping fifth-wicket stand of 158 in fewer than 18 overs.

Accruing a total of 341-7, the side's commanding lead was ultimately a bridge too far for the Tigers, who responded with a stoic 264.

With seven fours and four sixes, Latham's performance could not have been more different from those seen on Australian soil.

In his three matches against the Australians this month, the left-hander managed scores of just two, four and 28 - averaging just 11.33.

Latham told reporters after the match that he was glad to put those poor performances behind him against an expensive Bangladeshi bowling attack.

"It was nice to put a score on the board after coming home from Australia and obviously, not doing so well, it was nice to come out here," Latham said.

"Nice to clear the ropes a couple times, the short boundary with the wind, I certainly looked to target that towards the back end."

More than 7000 people turned out for the game at Hagley Oval. Black Caps first ODI versus Bangladesh

Latham said he and the 29-year-old Munro complemented each other well in the middle, having rarely played together before.

Their partnership had stalled a middle-order collapse following the cheap losses of Neil Broom and Jimmy Neesham.

"He's pretty free-flowing and hits a lot of boundaries, and that took the pressure away from me a little bit," Latham said.

"We managed to put on a really good partnership at a time when it could've gone either way."

New Zealand will next take on Bangladesh in Thursday's second ODI in Nelson, hoping to continue where they left off with the bat.

The side will be on red alert for a Tigers resurgence, the tourists having struggled to cope with the daunting run chase in Christchurch.

"To get 270-odd, that's a sign they're a good side," Latham said.

"We didn't get early wickets today but that pressure kept up throughout the whole innings, always when there's scoreboard pressure we manage to take wickets."

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