Published: December 9, 2023, 04:39 PM
New Zealand 180 (Phillips 87, Mehidy 3-53, Taijul 3-64) and 139 for 6 (Phillips 40*, Santner 35*, Mehidy 3-52) beat
Bangladesh 172 (Mushfiqur 35, Phillips 3-31, Santner 3-65) and 144 (Zakir 59, Ajaz 6-57, Santner 3-51) by four wickets
New Zealand aced a thrilling fourth-innings chase in the Dhaka Test, beating Bangladesh by four wickets. They leveled the series 1-1, as Glenn Phillips was once again in the thick of things, guiding the visitors with an unbeaten 40, the runs coming against the spinning and fizzing red ball. Phillips hit the winning runs with his fifth boundary.
The match will be remembered as a low-scoring affair, with the two sides aggregating to face just 1069 balls, the seventh-lowest ever in a Test that had at least 36 wickets falling.
The hosts dominated the contest when they reduced New Zealand to 69 for 6, before Phillips and Mitchell Santner took the visitors home with an unbroken seventh-wicket stand of 70. However, New Zealand`s win was setup by Ajaz Patel`s 6 for 57 on the fourth morning. It was only the third time that three or fewer New Zealand bowlers took all ten wickets in an overseas Test innings, as Bangladesh were bowled out for 144 following a batting collapse in the second innings.
Despite the low target, New Zealand fell into big trouble early. Shoriful Islam once again got Bangladesh their first breakthrough. He had Devon Conway lbw for 2 as the ball kept low, thus ending the opener`s struggle.
Soon after, Taijul Islam removed Kane Williamson for the third time in the series, having him stumped only for the second time in his 13-year international career. Williamson`s dismissal brought a new life to Bangladesh`s defense, as they started to create more chances around the bat. That brought Henry Nicholls` wicket, when he played forward but was trapped in front by Mehidy Hasan Miraz.
The pressure went further up when Tom Latham completed his worst Test series against Bangladesh. He fell when Najmul Hossain Shanto took a good catch at slip, as Mehidy deceived Latham in flight. Taijul then ended Tom Blundell`s terrible tour, having him edge behind to Nurul Hasan. Blundell`s 14 runs is the lowest by any visiting top-six batter having batted at least four times in a series in Bangladesh.
Ajaz Patel got his fifth Test five-for • AFP via Getty Images
Daryl Mitchell was next to go, with Shanto again taking a brilliant catch at slip. He anticipated Mitchell`s reverse sweep to move slightly to his right, but then had to dive in front to complete the catch.
Crucially, however, Shanto had dropped Philips on 1 earlier, although it was a sharp chance diving to his left. The over after Mitchell fell, Philips struck Taijul for two fours, both through the off side. Next over, Santner slapped Mehidy through mid-on for his first boundary. They had added an important 21 runs off just 19 balls before heading into the tea break.
Philips then started the third session with couple of fours off Nayeem Hasan, before Santner survived an on-field lbw dismissal, overturning it with a review. Santner and Philips struck a six each soon after, reducing the target to 12 runs, before striking struck a four each in the 40th over to complete the win.
The fourth day had started positively for Bangladesh before they collapsed to lose 8 for 73. They had begun by adding 33 runs in the first seven overs, before Mominul Haque fell lbw to Ajaz, who pitched it a bit short as the left-hander missed his attempted pull shot. Just two overs later, Santner preyed on Mushfiqur Rahim`s uncertainty, getting a nick to land in Mitchell`s lap at second slip. Santner then trapped Shahadat Hossain lbw in his next over, as the inexperienced batter missed his forward press while playing down the wrong line.
Ajaz then struck a double blow in the 25th over. Mehidy miscued a slog sweep to be caught at wide mid-on, before Nurul was given out lbw after he missed a lap-scoop second ball. Nurul had survived a lbw decision the ball before, so it made for a rather curious innings.
Santner soon had Nayeem caught at slip before Ajaz completed his fifth five-wicket haul when he removed Zakir Hasan and Shoriful to end Bangladesh`s second innings.
Zakir played Bangladesh`s best innings of this Test, mixing defensive play with some aggressive shots. Mostly stable, Zakir, when on 59, looked to attack as he kept losing partners at the other end. He struck six fours and a six in his 86-ball stay. Despite the left-hander`s best efforts, Philips trumped Bangladesh`s spin plan with two gorgeous innings, having cracked 87 in New Zealand`s first innings.