Dhaka (AFP) – Glenn Phillips hit an aggressive 87 to keep New Zealand in the game on day three of a finely poised rain-hit second and final Test against Bangladesh on Friday.
All-rounder Phillips lifted New Zealand from a precarious 55-5 at the start of the day to 180 all out in response to Bangladesh’s first innings total of 172 in Dhaka.
Bangladesh wiped out the eight-run deficit to reach 38-2 when bad light forced early stumps, with 37 overs remaining on the day at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
Opener Zakir Hasan was batting on 16 with Mominul Haque on nought.
Spinner Ajaz Patel removed Mahmudul Hasan Joy for two in the first over and skipper Tim Southee took down his Bangladesh counterpart Najmul Hasan Shanto for 15.
“I think it played pretty similar to how it played on day one, bit of spin, bit of skid,” Phillips told reporters.
“If you are only going to be out there for so many balls… you’ve got to score with the ones that are available. So obviously it’s a good challenge.”
Bangladesh hope to set a target of around 200 runs.
“I think the longer we can bat, the better it is for us. If we can score 200-220 runs, we can defend,” said spinner Nayeem Hasan.
Play resumed Friday after four sessions — one in the morning — were washed out because of rain with New Zealand trailing Bangladesh by 117 runs.
Phillips came to the rescue with nine fours and four sixes in his defiant 72-ball knock.
He put on a 55-run eighth-wicket stand with Kyle Jamieson (20) and stood strong till his departure.
Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Taijul Islam picked up three wickets each for Bangladesh. Nayeem Hasan and Shoriful Islam claimed two wickets apiece.
Phillips and fellow overnight batsman Daryl Mitchell took an aggressive approach and were rewarded with a stand of 49 for the sixth wicket, before Bangladesh had their first success of the day.
Mehidy took a superb catch, running to his left from mid-on and diving at full length to dismiss Mitchell for 18 off Nayeem.
Nayeem removed Mitchell Santner in his next over but Jamieson helped claw back the momentum towards New Zealand before his dismissal by Shoriful.
Shoriful then forced Phillips to edge a catch behind the stumps before Taijul wrapped up the New Zealand innings with the wicket of Southee (14).
Fifteen wickets fell on the first day but no ball was bowled on the second day after constant rain in the national capital.
The hosts, chasing a first-ever series win over the Black Caps, lead the two-Test series 1-0 after a 150-run victory in Sylhet.