New Zealand’s parttime spinner Glenn Phillips scalped four wickets as Bangladesh were reduced to 310/9 on Day 1 of the first Test match at the Sylhet International Stadium on Tuesday.
Phillips, who is a renowned partnership-breaker in white-ball cricket, showed his prowess with the red ball too as he took the key wickets of Mominul Haque, Najmul Hossain Shanto, debutant Shahadat Hossain and wicketkeeper-batter Nurul Hasan.
Bangladesh can take solace from the fact that they have not folded on the opening day. After winning the toss, Tigers have made good first use of the surface that looked good for batting, but it was a bit on the slower side. They would be kicking themselves for not capitalising further. Like how Mahmudul Hasan Joy showed during his patient knock of 86. He bided his time, put the bad balls away and largely tackled the spin challenge well. But the rest of the batters - save for skipper Najmul Hasan Shanto and Mominul Haque - did not apply themselves.
All of the 9 batters who were dismissed got starts and got into double digits, but only one of them went past fifty. New Zealand kept chipping away once they broke the 88-run stand between Mahmudul and Mominul. At that stage the hosts were 180/2 but lost their way as Glenn Phillips picked up a four-fer despite not having much help on offer. While there was more turn later in the afternoon, it was quite slow and there was no great bounce either. New Zealand, though, kept at it and capitalised on the batter's mistakes. The spinners did most of the damage, but Jamieson also produced a good spell with the second new ball, managing to find some swing late in the day.
Phillips was the unlikely hero with the ball for New Zealand. Playing just in his second Test, he bowled for the first time and picked up four wickets to quell hopes of a tall Bangladesh total. He varied his flight, bowled more on the slower side and used the bowling crease quite well. He did struggle with the second new ball but by then his effect was telling.
Bangladesh will look back at the day as a missed chance. A chance to post a taller score to make New Zealand uneasy given the tourists have to bat last. What does the second day have in store for us? We have plenty to look forward to.