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Phillips and Santner help New Zealand beat Bangladesh in second cricket test to level series

Glenn Phillips and Mitchell Santner held their nerve to help New Zealand chase down 137 runs on a difficult wicket for a series-leveling four-wicket win over Bangladesh in the rain-hit second test on Saturday.

Phillips and Santner shared a 70-run partnership for the seventh wicket as New Zealand recovered from 69-6 to reach 139-6 on Day 4 to give the team its first victory on Bangladesh soil since 2008.

The home side, which won the first test by 150 runs, is chasing a first-ever test series victory against the Black Caps.

Phillips, who struck a 72-ball 87 in the first innings, hit offspinner Mehidy Hasan 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. Santner hit three fours and a six for his 39-ball 35 not out.

Phillips was key in helping the side take an eight-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 was dismissed for 172 in its second innings, chasing a 137-run target for New Zealand to win the match.

“We obviously didn’t get the big scores that we would like, but on a wicket like that, 20-30 run partnerships here and there go a long way,” New Zealand skipper Tim Southee said. “And Ajaz on a spin-friendly condition, showed his class in picking up the six wickets.”

Mehidy Hasan had figures 3-52 and left-arm spinner Taijul Islam grabbed 2-58 as Bangladesh kept the hopes alive on an increasingly deteriorating pitch.

Pacer Shofirul Islam (1-9) broke through as he had Devon Conway (2) leg-before with a length delivery that kept pretty low.

Taijul got into the act with a flighted delivery that spun sharply to baffle Kane Williamson (11) before Mehidy joined the party, extending Henry Nicholls’ (3) lean patch.

With 33-3, Tom Latham made 26 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 when he missed Phillips’ catch at slip off Mehidy when he was on 0.

Taijul dismissed Tom Blundell for 2 and Mediy got the better of Daryl Mitchell, who scored 19 as Bangladesh edged closer to victory.

Phillips grew with confidence with the able support of Santner to ensure a victory in Mirpur, which has long been considered as Bangladesh’s fortress.

Earlier, the entire second day and the first session of the third day was washed out due to rain and wet outfield.

Bangladesh earlier was undone by Patel, who denied them posting a winning target. His decisive bowling was complemented by left-arm spinner Santner’s 3-51.

“The way the bowlers fought back to defend just 137 runs is obviously pleasing to see but batting let us down,” Shanto said. ”In the first innings, it was 230-240 wicket but we got out less than 200, which made the difference. There is nothing to blame the wicket, it was good. Just we can’t bat well. We have to improve in this aspect.”

Zakir Hasan battled alone for Bangladesh in the second innings with 59 off 86, hitting six fours and one six.

Resuming at 38-2, Bangladesh started strongly with Zakir Hasan hitting Southee for a pair of boundaries in the second over of the day.

But Patel trapped Mominul Haque leg-before for 15, ending a 33-run partnership between him and Zakir, which was 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 level the series.

Santner dealt a double blow, dismissing Mushfiqur Rahim (9) and Shahadat Hossain (4) in his consecutive overs, leaving Bangladesh at 88-5.

Mushfiqur’s hesitation to play or leave the quicker delivery of Santner caused his dismissal. Then Mehidy played a rash shot against Patel to throw his wicket away to further the home side’s slide.