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Tigers take 30-run lead against New Zealand after day-3

Bangladesh had lost two wickets in their second innings, with the score at 38, thus ending 30 ahead of New Zealand. The day ended with just short of 27 overs of action possible, with bad light at 2.45 pm stopping play before it was called off at 4.15 pm.

Gloomy conditions in Dhaka meant play on Friday began two and a half hours later than scheduled – this was after rain had abandoned the entire second day – with the visitors on 55 for 5, still 117 behind. But overnight batters Phillips and Daryl Mitchell played contrasting roles to thwart Bangladesh, who predictably had left-arm spinner Taijul Islam and offspinner Mehidy Hasan Miraz working in tandem.

While Phillips seemed to be on the offensive as early as the second over of the day, Mitchell remained content to block. Often standing deep in the crease, Phillips slashed hard at deliveries that were even slightly short outside off or swung across the line to those that were much fuller in length and finishing on the stumps.

The second over of the day – the 14th of the innings – saw him punch Mehidy for four to deep point before he slog-swept and drove him for further boundaries in the 16th. In between, Phillips was twice beaten by Taijul while looking to push at deliveries that were turning away, even as the ball also stayed low or skidded through. Those were early signs on day three of how the pitch was behaving.

But hardly any of that mattered to Phillips. Bangladesh placed multiple fielders back on the leg-side boundary – both deep backward square leg and deep midwicket were mostly in position – but he continued to attack. Phillips’ first six came in the 18th over when Mehidy bowled one full while turning it into leg, but the former got down to slog sweep the bowler over deep square leg.

At the other end, Mitchell took a good stride forward to get to the pitch of the ball to defend the fuller deliveries; and even when he stepped out, he only looked to nudge them away. Bangladesh reviewed when, in the 20th over, Mitchell’s attempted reverse sweep off Mehidy saw the ball pop up to short leg and the on-field decision was not out, only for replays to show the ball having hit him just below the left shoulder.

At 16 at the time, he had more fortune going his way when on 18. Mitchell went leaning into a drive off Taijul off the last ball of the 21st over, only for the ball to drop just short of the slip fielder. Bangladesh introduced Nayeem Hasan next over, only for Phillips to launch him for six first ball over deep backward square leg. But three deliveries later, Nayeem got Mitchell, who ran out of luck when Mehidy took a stunning catch.

Mitchell stepped out to smash Nayeem over his head, with a mid-off in place and Mehidy halfway back at long-on. But he seemingly got too close to the pitch of the ball, lofting it pretty high instead. Mehidy ran across to his left to cover a great distance and dived forward to grab the ball. Mitchell fell for 18, ending a sixth-wicket stand of 49 off 60 balls with Phillips.

Nayeem also had Mitchell Santner nicking to slip in his second over, with New Zealand 97 for 7, another 75 behind. But Phillips kept going, with even umpire Rod Tucker not being spared. Placed at square leg, the ball crashed just above Tucker’s left knee when Phillips pulled forcefully at Nayeem to start the 26th over. He then clubbed Nayeem for six and cut him for four in the same over. The boundary brought up his half-century off just 38 balls, as he added a crucial 55 from only 53 deliveries with Kyle Jamieson.

Jamieson contributed 20, before Tim Southee entertained with 14, including a six and a four. Shoriful Islam and Taijul wrapped the tail up, with New Zealand’s last two wickets not adding a single run. But the visitors’ last five wickets still smashed 134 runs at a run rate of 5.25, the highest for at least a hundred runs added from five down where ball-by-ball data is available.

After New Zealand got a measly eight ahead, Ajaz Patel had Mahmudul Hasan Joy nicking to slip the third ball of Bangladesh’s second innings. Zakir Hasan and Najmul Hossain Shanto stroked a few boundaries thereafter before Shanto chipped Southee to mid-off in what turned out to be the penultimate ball of the day.