New Zealand Clinches Nail-biter Against Bangladesh, Leveling Test Series

Sat Dec 09 2023
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DHAKA: In a thrilling encounter, New Zealand secured a hard-fought victory against Bangladesh, winning the second Test by four wickets and leveling the two-match series.

The visitors successfully chased down a target of 137 in Dhaka, reaching 139-6 an hour into the fourth day’s final session.

Glenn Phillips played a crucial role under pressure, scoring an unbeaten 40 and receiving valuable support from Mitchell Santner, who contributed 35 not out. Santner’s all-round performance included a notable 3-51 with the ball earlier in the game.

Bangladesh’s Mehidy Hasan Miraz claimed 3-52, and Taijul Islam added 2-58 in a determined effort. However, Phillips and Santner’s unbroken seventh-wicket stand of 70 denied Bangladesh their hopes of securing their first Test series win over the Black Caps.

New Zealand captain Tim Southee expressed relief, saying, “It was a bit of a scrape there, nice to come out on the right side of it.” He praised the team’s trust in their game and acknowledged the pitch’s challenges, emphasizing the importance of playing their way.

Bangladesh struck early in the final innings, with Shoriful Islam removing Devon Conway for two before the spinners took center stage. Mehidy dismissed Henry Nichols and Tom Latham, while Taijul claimed the wickets of Kane Williamson and Tom Blundell. Daryl Mitchell’s dismissal at the hands of Mehidy further tilted the balance.

In the first innings, Ajaz Patel’s exceptional bowling performance, with figures of 6-57, and Santner’s left-arm spin played a pivotal role in bowling out Bangladesh for 144. Resuming on 38-2, Bangladesh aggressively began the fourth day but managed just 106 runs in 27 overs during the extended opening session.

Zakir Hasan provided resistance with a top-scoring 59, but Patel’s brilliance ended his innings. New Zealand, having an eight-run lead in the first innings, showcased resilience with Phillips guiding them from 46-5 to 180.

“That eight runs mattered a lot,” Phillips remarked, emphasizing the team’s commitment to fighting. He praised the spinners for their incredible performance.

Fifteen wickets fell on the opening day, followed by a rain-induced washout on the second day and part of the third day. Bangladesh had won the opening Test in Sylhet by 150 runs.

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