Cricket World Cup: Captain Kane Williamson retires hurt as Blackcaps remain unbeaten with win over Bangladesh

The Blackcaps have eased to a third straight win at the World Cup in India, with a convincing eight-wicket victory over Bangladesh, but it may have come at a cost, as captain Kane Williamson was forced to retire hurt with a fresh injury concern.

The NZ skipper notched a patient 78 of 104 balls at Chennai, before being struck on his left thumb by a throw from the outfield, as the Blackcaps chased down their target of 245 in the 43rd over - and the loss of just two wickets - to lift them atop the standings.

Williamson was playing his first game for New Zealand, since suffering a serious knee injury during the Indian Premier League opener back in April, which was widely expected to rule him out of the tournament.

After receiving treatment from the physio, Williamson faced one more ball, before departing. He'll undergo scans to determine the full extent of the injury.

Kane Williamson receives treatment on his thumb.
Kane Williamson receives treatment on his thumb. Photo credit: Getty Images

Williamson says the resulting swelling from the blow caused difficulty gripping the bat.

"It just got a bit fat and colourful straight away, so got a scan tomorrow, but hopefully it's okay," he said.

He has described his surgically repaired knee as a "secondary injury concern", adding it was "great to get through [the game] actually, from a knee perspective".

Williamson showed minimal rust in his composed return to the international stage. His innings included 10 fours and a six, and was the anchor of two big partnerships - 82 with Devon Conway for the second wicket and 108 for the third with Daryl Mitchell - which set the platform for a comfortable Blackcaps win.

Mitchell was at his belligerent best, slaying the Bangladesh attack for an undefeated 89 off 67 balls, including six fours and four sixes, with Glenn Phillips (16no) replacing Williamson to help him steer the ship home.

Conway added 45 off 59, before being trapped leg before wicket, while Rachin Ravindra's elevation to opener didn't pay dividends, as he edged behind for nine.

The bowlers should claim most of the credit for this win. After New Zealand won the toss and sent Bangladesh in to bat, Trent Boult made the perfect start, dismissing opener Litton Das, caught at fine leg, with the very first ball of the day.

Boult's second scalp of the day later in the innings - when Towhid Hridoy hit to MItchell Santner in the covers - saw him reach 200 wickets in one-day internationals. He joins an NZ club that consists of Daniel Vettori, Kyle Mills, Chris Cairns, Tim Southee and Chris Harris.

Lockie Ferguson had opener Tanzid Hasan (16) caught at square leg, followed closely by dangerman Mehidy Hasan Miraz at fine leg (30). Glenn Phillips then stepped up with his very first delivery to have in-form Najmul Hossain Shanto holing out to midwicket, as three wickets fell for just 16 runs, with Bangladesh struggling at 56/4 in the 13th over.

A revival came in the form of a 96-run partnership from veteran skipper Shakib Al-Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim, until Shakib was caught in the deep, trying to hit Ferguson for a second straight six for 40 (51).

With 66 off 75 to his name, Mushfiqur followed his captain back to the sheds soon after, unable to keep a low tracker from Matt Henry off his stumps to reduce his side to 175/6 in the 36th over.

Trent Boult celebrates his first-ball wicket.
Trent Boult celebrates his first-ball wicket. Photo credit: Getty Images

A valiant late effort from Mohammad Mahmudullah (41no) spared Bangladesh some blushes, as they limped to a subpar 245, which was never likely to be enough against the redhot NZ batting line-up in favourable conditions.

Ferguson finished the pick of the bowlers with 3/49, while Boult added 2/45. Santner was typically miserly with just 31 runs conceded from his 10 overs - including a wicket - while Henry nabbed 2/58.

The Blackcaps will return to MA Chidambaram Stadium to face Afghanistan on Wednesday night (NZ time), when they'll be highly favoured to make it four from four to continue their encouraging start to the Cup.

Bangladesh 245/9 (Mushfiqur 66; Ferguson 3/49) New Zealand 248/2 in 42.5 overs (Mitchell 89, Wiliamson 78) 

New Zealand win by eight wickets

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