On the first day of the Sylhet Test, New Zealand’s unexpected hero with the ball was Glenn Phillips, who held Bangladesh to 310 for 9. Middle-order batsman and occasional off-spinner Phillips concluded the day with 4 for 53 as New Zealand orchestrated a batting collapse that began at the close of the second session. Phillips has only taken 2 Tests, and this is the first time he was given a bowl.
Bangladesh were 180 for 2 at that point in the 53rd over, with Mominul Haque and Mahmudul Hasan Joy batting solidly in the middle. Bangladesh lost momentum as soon as Phillips removed Mominul and Ish Sodhi took Joy’s wicket. But Tim Southee, the captain of New Zealand, didn’t sit back and let things happen; instead, he put on a show from both ends. He used Ajaz Patel as the third spinner in his rotation, but he often left one quick bowler on the grass.
Joy got the most runs of any batter from Bangladesh that day, 86 from 166 balls with 11 fours. Joy’s best shot is his cover drive, that has the batter elegantly bending into the short. He hit seven of his boundaries at different points between extra cover and cover.
After a 39-run partnership, Ajaz bowled left-hand opening batsman Zakir Hasan with a ball that looped back from deep outside off stump, giving New Zealand their first breakthrough of the day.
The series captain, Najmul Hossain Shanto, increased the scoring pace with three sixes and two fours in a 53-run partnership with Joy. However, he later lofted Phillips into the sky, only for Kane Williamson to make a diving catch at mid-on. Shanto dominated the New Zealand spinners, hitting well down the ground (two of his sixes went over long-on), so his 37 from 35 balls felt like a bit of a waste of a fine start.
Before lunch, Joy, who was still solid at the other end, now had Mominul Haque to finish the difficult 2.4 overs. After everything was finished, they tried to construct a solid basis. They added 88 runs at a little over three runs per over while batting steadily. It appeared as though they would go into the tea break, but Mominul went back to cut Phillips, giving Tom Blundell, who was having trouble with the spinners on the low-bounce track, an inside edge. Blundell took a good catch. Out of 78 balls, he made 37 with four boundaries.
With a superbly flighted delivery that the batsman grabbed at and edged to Daryl Mitchell at slip, Sodhi trapped Joy in the very next over. Suddenly, Bangladesh was 184 for 4.
And soon after the tea was served, Mushfiqur Rahim came out and hit Ajaz clean and flat at mid-off to fall for twelve.
After that, there were pockets of resistance, but Shahadat Hossain, making his debut, hit three fours in his 54-ball stay before chipping one to Henry Nicholls at midwicket to give Phillips his third wicket. Mehidy Hasan Miraz got into a tangle – play or duck? – against Kyle Jamieson’s short ball and was caught at slip.
Nurul Hasan, who was caught down the leg side for 29, was Phillips’ fourth wicket of the day. Nayeem Hasan then edged Jamieson’s wide ball to second slip.
For the day, Taijul Islam and No. 11 Shoriful Islam batted out the last 3.1 overs, thus Phillips did not have a fifth wicket.