Glenn Phillips showcased his aggressive batting prowess by scoring a resilient 87 on the third day of a tightly contested, rain-interrupted second Test between New Zealand and Bangladesh in Dhaka on Friday.
New Zealand, starting the day at a precarious 55-5, managed to post a total of 180 in response to Bangladesh's first-inning score of 172.
Phillips' explosive innings proved crucial in lifting New Zealand from a challenging position, forming a 55-run partnership for the eighth wicket with Kyle Jamieson. Despite Phillips' efforts, Bangladesh managed to wipe out the eight-run deficit, reaching 38-2 before bad light led to early stumps.
Ajaz Patel and Tim Southee made early breakthroughs for New Zealand, removing Mahmudul Hasan Joy and Bangladesh skipper Najmul Hasan Shanto, respectively. Opener Zakir Hasan was on 16, while Mominul Haque was yet to score when play was halted.
Phillips, reflecting on his innings, mentioned that the pitch played similarly to the first day, offering a mix of spin and skid. He emphasised the importance of capitalising on the limited opportunities to score.
As play resumed after rain interruptions, Phillips and overnight partner Daryl Mitchell adopted an aggressive approach, adding 49 runs for the sixth wicket. However, Bangladesh managed to regain control, with Mehidy Hasan Miraz taking a spectacular catch to dismiss Mitchell and Nayeem Hasan removing Mitchell Santner in the subsequent over.
Kyle Jamieson supported Phillips with a valuable 20 runs, but Shoriful Islam and Taijul Islam contributed crucial wickets to limit New Zealand's total. Mehidy and Taijul both claimed three wickets, while Nayeem and Shoriful took two each.
With New Zealand trailing by 117 runs, the game is finely poised, and Bangladesh aims to set a target of around 200 runs. The hosts, leading the two-test series 1-0, are hopeful that batting longer will enhance their chances of securing a historic series win against the Black Caps.