‘Worst wicket ever’: NZ edge Bangladesh in low-scoring Test, square series


New Zealand beat Bangladesh by four wickets on the fourth day of the second Test to level the two-match series at 1-1 as Ajaz Patel ripped through the home side with six wickets before his batting colleagues secured victory.

Chasing 137 to win on a treacherous track at Mirpur’s Shere Bangla Stadium after Bangladesh’s Zakir Hasan hit a battling 59, the tourists rode on Glenn Phillips’ unbeaten 40 and Mitchell Santner’s 35 not out to prevail.

“It was a bit of scrap,” New Zealand skipper Tim Southee said.

“It’s nice to come out on the right side of it.

“The guys trusted their ways. The way Phillips and Santner play, it’s on the attacking side to the other players. And they did that.”

However, Southee was less complimentary of the performance of the Shere Bangla wicket, with the surface heavily favouring the bowlers.

“There’s a number of ways I could describe that wicket,” the New Zealand skipper said when asked about the deck.

“Probably the worst wicket I’ve come across in my career. The balance between bat and ball was, obviously, heavily favoured into the bowlers hands. [For] the match to be over in 170 overs reflects that.”

Phillips was dropped on nought by Bangladesh skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto but maintained his composure after the Black Caps were reduced to 6-69 before tea to guide them home.

Bangladesh had resumed on their overnight score of 2-38 but lost wickets cheaply in the morning as spinners Patel (6-57) and Santner (3-51) took advantage of the turn on offer to heap pressure on the batsmen.

Patel produced a double strike in the 25th over to get rid of Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Nurul Hasan and leave Bangladesh in deep trouble at 7-97 but opener Zakir, who was starved of the strike as wickets tumbled at the other end, soldiered on.

Zakir took Bangladesh past the 100-run mark and then brought up his half-century to muted celebrations before hitting Santner for a huge six, but the left-hander became Patel’s fifth victim when he miscued a sweep.

The hosts were dismissed for 144 before lunch in what was effectively the third day of a rain-affected contest in which an entire day was lost.

Najmul Hossain Shanto (Bangladesh Captain) and Tim Southee (New Zealand Captain) unveil the Dutch-Bangla Bank Test Series 2023 Trophy in Sylhet. (Photo by Md Rafayat Haque Khan/ Eyepix Group) (Photo credit should read Md Rafayat Haque Khan/ Eyepix Group/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

New Zealand had dragged themselves back into the contest on Friday thanks to a fifty by Phillips that gave them an eight-run lead after Bangladesh made 172 in their first innings.

“The bowlers did a great job. Everyone chipped in the field as well,” Shanto said.

“There was an opportunity to win. I hope we learn from this match.”

Bangladesh won the opening match by 150 runs in Sylhet for their first Test victory on home soil against New Zealand.

They travel to New Zealand for three one-day internationals and as many Twenty20 matches this month.

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