Bangladesh missed a rare opportunity to win a Test series against a top side, falling to New Zealand on a rank-turner in Mirpur today, losing by four wickets on Day Four of the two-match series.
On a day when 14 wickets fell in 66.4 overs, Ajaz Patel’s six-wicket haul, followed by an unbroken 70-run stand for the seventh wicket between Glenn Phillips and Mitchell Santner, gave the Kiwis a series-leveling victory.
After winning the first Test by 150 runs on a sporting pitch in Sylhet, Bangladesh set up a spin trap for the Kiwis at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium with the hopes of winning the series against the Black Caps.
However, the plan backfired as the host hitters were bowled out for 172 and 144 in both innings, while player of the match Phillips played two key strokes to lead the visitors to victory.
Bangladesh lost points in the ICC Test Championship as well as the opportunity to win their first series in the competition.
The match was reduced to 178.1 overs over three and a half days due to bad weather caused by Cyclonic Storm Michuang, which cut out the entirety of Day Two and large sections of the first and third days.
The fourth day’s play was not interrupted, as the match began on time.
Bangladesh batsmen appeared to be motivated by Phillips’ counter-attacking 87 off 72 balls in New Zealand’s first innings, as they attempted to play positively against the Kiwi spinners from the start.
While Zakir Hasan had some success with this strategy, the other batters failed horribly as Bangladesh lost their final eight wickets for 106 runs.
New Zealand’s left-arm spin combo of Ajaz and Santner kept pitching the ball in good locations and were rewarded with four and three wickets, respectively.
Bangladesh bowlers nearly made a game of defending 137, lowering the Kiwis to 69-6.
Phillips and Santner then joined forces and dashed Bangladesh’s aspirations.
The pivotal moment of the day, in retrospect, occurred in the 23rd over, when Najmul Hossain Shanto dropped Phillips on nought at slip off Mehedi Hasan Miraz.
If Shanto had hung on to the difficult chance, he may have lifted the trophy by himself at the conclusion of the day. Instead, he had to share first place with his Kiwi colleague Tim Southee.