Phillips helps New Zealand hit back on Day 3 to leave 2nd test against Bangladesh evenly poised

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MIRPUR, Bangladesh (AP) — Glenn Phillips played an attacking knock as New Zealand hit back strongly on Day 3 of the rain-affected second cricket test against Bangladesh on Friday to leave the game evenly poised.

Phillips struck a 72-ball 87 to help New Zealand put up 180 in its first innings and take an 8-run lead, and then New Zealand's bowlers left Bangladesh on 38-2 before play was called off due to bad light.

Bangladesh was dismissed for 172 in its first innings.

After the entire second day and the first session of the third day were washed out, Phillips led the charge with one-day style batting as New Zealand resumed at 55-5.

Phillips hit nine fours and four sixes in his innings and was particularly harsh on Mehidy Hasan, hitting three fours and one six in his first three overs to keep the runs flowing.

“For me it’s about using my bat as much as possible,” Phillips said. “I’m generally not looking to leave many deliveries. ... But on pitches like this, understanding that sometimes being a little bit more aggressive is almost the best remedy, where if you can put a bowler off their length a little bit, then you can get them to bowl in the area that you would feel a bit more comfortable with.”

Phillips formed two crucial partnerships — 49 with Mitchell for the sixth wicket and 55 with Kyle Jamieson for the eighth to help New Zealand earn the lead. Mitchell was struggling against the spinners and eventually was caught out by Mehidy at long-on for 18 off offspinner Nayeem Hasan’s first over.

In his next over Nayeem, who took 2-21, dismissed Mitchell Santner for 1 to leave New Zealand at 97-7 but Phillips got the support of Jamieson to keep Bangladesh at bay.

Shoriful (2-15) broke through with the wicket of Jamieson, who made 20 with three boundaries. Skipper Tim Southee hit a four and a six for his 14 as New Zealand went past Bangladesh’s total.

With Phillips attacking relentlessly on a tough wicket, New Zealand appeared set to take a substantial lead. But his knock came to an end when he edged a delivery of Shoriful behind. Taijul (3-64) removed Southee in the next over, to limit the lead to single digits.

“I think it’s better for us to bat as long as we can. If we can put up 200, 220, it will be easier to defend on this wicket,” Nayeem said. “Phillips batted aggressively today but it’s not that he will be successful everyday by batting aggressively on this type of wicket.”

Left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel (1-13) helped New Zealand get off to a good start when he spun one to dismiss opener Mahmudul Hasan. Zakir Hasan and skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto hit boundaries at regular interval to keep the scoreboard moving.

But Southee dismissed Shanto, who chipped one straight to mid-off where Kane Williamson grabbed the easy catch before bad light halted the game.

Bangladesh leads the two-match series after a 150-run victory in the first test and is looking for its first test series win over New Zealand.

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AP cricket: https://apnews.com/hub/cricket