Glenn Phillips and Mitchell Santer showed an unwavering resolve amid huge pressure to help New Zealand secure a four-wicket victory in the second and final Test as the visitors leveled the two-match series today at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
Bangladesh won the first Test by 150 runs and were chasing a first ever Test series victory against New Zealand but fell agonizingly short. Phillips and Santer were the wrecker-in-chief on a designed wicket that Bangladesh produced to give their spinners a chance to rip through New Zealand, who traditionally were vulnerable against spin.
But Bangladesh had to swallow their own pill. Phillips and Santer shared 70-run for the seventh wicket as New Zealand recovered from 69-6 to reach 139-6 on Day 4 to give the side its first victory on Bangladesh soil since 2008.
Phillips who struck 72 ball-87 in the first innings, hit offspinner Mehidy Hasan Miraz for a boundary through cover to confirm the victory as he was not out on 40 off 48 after smashing four fours and one six. Santer hit three fours and a six for his 39 ball-35 not out.
Phillips was key in helping the side take 8-run lead when New Zealand was bowled out for 180 in the first innings, in reply to Bangladesh's 172. Left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel then claimed 6-57 as Bangladesh were dismissed for 172 in its second innings, chasing a 137-run target for New Zealand to win the match.
But Bangladesh could have sealed the game had skipper Najmul Hossan Shanto not put down a chance of Phillips at slip off Miraz bowling when he was on 0.
Miraz had figures 3-52 and left-arm spinner Taijul Islam grabbed 2-58 as Bangladesh kept the hopes alive on an increasingly deteriorating pitch despite setting a meager target for the Black Caps.
Pacer Shofirul Islam who took one for 9 broke through as he had Devon Conway (2) leg-before with length delivery that kept pretty low. Taijul got into act, with flighted delivery that spun sharply to baffle Kane Williamson (11) before Miraz joined the party, extending Henry Nicholls' (3) lean patch.
With 33-3, Tom Latham who made 26 swept perfectly and played confidently but his vigil came to an end when Bangladesh skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto held
onto an excellent catch at slip.
But Shanto put down the most crucial chance of Phillips that eventually determined the course of the game.
Taijul who operated tirelessly dismissed Tom Blundell for 2 and Miraz got the better of Daryl Mitchell who scored 19 as Bangladesh edged closer to victory.
Phillips grew with confidence with the able support from Santner to ensure a victory in Mirpur, which has long been considered as Bangladesh's fortress.
The entire second day and the first session of the third day was washed out due to rain and wet outfield. Earlier, Bangladesh was undone by Patel whose six-wicket haul denied
Bangladesh setting an expected target for New Zealand.
In the face of Patel's disciplined bowling coupled with their wretched batting show led Bangladesh's downfall. Patel's decisive bowling was complemented by left-arm spinner Mitchell
Zakir Hasan battled lonely for Bangladesh in the second innings with 59 off 86, hitting six fours and one six. Resuming at 38-2, Bangladesh started promisingly with Zakir Hasan hitting
skipper Tim Southee a brace of boundaries in the second over of the day.
Patel trapped Mominul Haque leg-before for 15, ending a 33-run partnership between him and Zakir, which happened to be Bangladesh's best partnership in the second innings.
Bangladesh then collapsed and lost the rest of the seven wickets for 73 runs, bolstering New Zealand's chance to equalize a series on a pitch which
favoured the hosts more.
Santer dealt a double blow, dismissing Mushfiqur Rahim (9) and Shahadat Hossain (4) in his consecutive two overs, leaving Bangladesh 88-5.
Mushfiqur's hesitation to play or leave the quicker delivery of Santer caused his dismissal, frustrating a good number of crowds on the ground.
With Bangladesh at tricky situation, Mehidy Hasan Miraz (3) played a rash shot against Patel to throw his wicket to further leave the side in trouble. Nurul Hasan, however, got a duck as he was trapped leg-before.
Amid the wickets tumbling, Zakir played his shots confidently but lacked a support from the other end.
He pushed a flighted delivery of Patel to cover for single to raise his third test fifty off 79 balls and then slog-swept Santer for the lone six of
Bangladesh's innings over mid-wicket. However, soon after his attempted sweep against Patel brought his dismissal as the ninth batter out, giving the bowler his fourth five-for. Patel then had Shoriful Islam stumped to wrap up Bangladesh's innings.