Phillips guides nervy NZ to victory over Bangladesh

Published December 10, 2023
DHAKA: New Zealand batter Glenn Phillips (L) plays a shot during the second Test against Bangladesh at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Saturday.—AFP
DHAKA: New Zealand batter Glenn Phillips (L) plays a shot during the second Test against Bangladesh at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Saturday.—AFP

DHAKA: Glenn Phillips scored an unbeaten 40 under pressure as New Zealand beat Bangladesh by four wickets in the second Test on Saturday to finish the two-match series level.

Set a chase of 137 on a treacherous track at Mirpur’s Shere Bangla Stadium after Bangladesh’s Zakir Hasan hit a battling 59, the visitors reached 139-6 an hour into the fourth day’s final session with Phillips, who made 87 in the first innings, receiving able support from Mitchell Santner.

Santner capped in on a fine all-round performance with 35 not out after his 3-51 earlier with the ball.

Mehidy Hasan Miraz claimed 3-52 and Taijul Islam chipped in with 2-58 before Phillips and Santner, who shared 70 in their unbroken seventh-wicket stand, denied Bangladesh their hopes of a first Test series win over the Black Caps.

“It was a bit of scrap,” New Zealand skipper Tim Southee said. “It’s nice to come out on the right side of it. “We obviously didn’t get the big scores that we would like, but on a wicket like that, 20-30 run partnerships here and there go a long way.

“The guys just trusted their game. On this pitch, you can still play your way. The way Phillips and Santner play, it’s on the attacking side to the other players. And they did that. At times, Bangladesh showed it as well. It was a matter of time before one had your name on it.”

Phillips was dropped on nought by skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto but maintained his composure after the Black Caps were reduced to 69-6 before tea to earn his team a first Test win in Bangladesh in 15 years.

Phillips hit off-spinner Mehidy for a boundary through cover to confirm the victory, his fourth of a 48-ball innings that also included a six. Santner hit three fours and a six in his 39-ball stay.

“We pride ourselves on fighting till the end and we did that,” said man-of-the-match Phillips. “Our spinners did incredibly well, also Tim. The Bangladesh boys came back with intent. To bring that back and to chase 137 was pleasing. The intent was there... Mitchell batted really well. He’s got amazing hands, such a fluent player. Credit to him and all the boys.”

Bangladesh struck early as Shoriful Islam removed Devon Conway for two before the spinners came into action.

Mehidy dismissed Henry Nichols for three and Tom Latham for 26 between Taijul’s wickets of Kane Williamson (11) and Tom Blundell (two).

Mehidy’s consistent bowling was rewarded when he forced an edge from Daryl Mitchell (19) at slip.

“The bowlers did a great job … everyone chipped in the field as well,” Bangladesh skipper Najmul said. “In the first match, we played really good cricket. This game we had our opportunities, but we couldn’t take them. I hope we learn from this match.

”In the first innings, it was 230-240 wicket but we got out less than 200, which made the difference. There is nothing to blame the wicket, it was good. Just we can’t bat well. We have to improve in this aspect.”

Bangladesh had resumed on their overnight score of 38-2 but lost wickets cheaply in the morning as Ajaz Patel took 6-57 for his fourth five-wicket Test haul and Santner complemented with his left-arm spin.

Patel produced a double strike in the 25th over to get rid of Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Nurul Hasan and leave Bangladesh in deep trouble at 97-7 but opener Zakir, who was starved of the strike as wickets tumbled at the other end, soldiered on.

Zakir took Bangladesh past the 100-run mark and then brought up his half-century to muted celebrations before hitting Santner for a huge six, but the left-hander became Patel’s fifth victim when he miscued a sweep.

The hosts were dismissed for 144 before lunch in what was effectively the third day of a rain-affected contest in which an entire day was lost.

New Zealand had an eight-run lead in the first innings with Phillips guiding the side to 180 from a precarious 46-5, in reply to Bangladesh’s 172. “That eight runs mattered a lot,” Phillips said.

As many as 15 wickets fell on the opening day before rain washed out the entire second day and the opening session of the third.

Bangladesh won the opening Test in Sylhet by 150 runs. for their first test victory on home soil against New Zealand.

They travel to New Zealand for three One-day Internationals and as many Twenty20 matches this month.

SCOREBOARD

BANGLADESH (1st Innings) 172 (Mushfiqur 35; M. Santner 3-65, G. Phillips 3-31)

NEW ZEALAND (1st Innings) 180 (G. Phillips 87; Mehidy 3-53, Taijul 3-64)

BANGLADESH (2nd Innings, overnight 38-2):

Zakir Hasan c Mitchell b Patel 59

Mahmudul Hasan c Mitchell b Patel 2

Najmul Hossain c Williamson b Southee 15

Mominul Haque lbw b Patel 10

Mushfiqur Rahim c Mitchell b Santner 9

Shahadat Hossain lbw b Santner 4

Mehidy Hasan Miraz c Santner b Patel 3

Nurul Hasan lbw b Patel 0

Nayeem Hasan c Southee b Santner 9

Taijul Islam not out 14

Shoriful Islam st Blundell b Patel 8

EXTRAS (B-10, LB-1) 11

TOTAL (all out; 35 overs) 144

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-3 (Mahmudul), 2-38 (Najmul), 3-71 (Mominul), 4-82 (Mushfiqur), 5-88 (Shahadat), 6-97 (Mehidy), 7-97 (Nurul), 8-112 (Nayeem), 9-128 (Zakir)

BOWLING: Patel 18-1-57-6, Santner 11-0-51-3, Southee 6-1-25-1

NEW ZEALAND (2nd Innings):

T. Latham c Najmul b Mehidy 26

D. Conway lbw b Shoriful 2

K. Williamson st Nurul b Taijul 11

H. Nicholls lbw b Mehidy 3

D. Mitchell c Najmul b Mehidy 19

T. Blundell c Nurul b Taijul 2

G. Phillips not out 40

M. Santner not out 35

EXTRAS (B-1) 1

TOTAL (for six wickets, 39.4 overs) 139

DID NOT BAT: K. Jamieson, T. Southee, A. Patel

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-5 (Conway), 2-24 (Williamson), 3-33 (Nicholls), 4-48 (Latham), 5-51 (Blundell), 6-69 (Mitchell)

BOWLING: Shoriful 5-2-9-1, Mehidy 16.4-2-52-3, Taijul 14-2-58-2, Nayeem 3-0-15-0, Mominul 1-0-4-0

RESULT: New Zealand win by four wickets

SERIES: Two match series ends 1-1

TOSS: Bangladesh

UMPIRES: Paul Reiffel (Australia) and Rod Tucker (Australia)

TV UMPIRE: Ahsan Raza (Pakistan)

MATCH REFEREE: David Boon (Australia).—AFP

Published in Dawn, December 10th, 2023

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