Phillips reveals winning mantra that helped clinch the Mirpur Test


After losing the first Test in Sylhet by 150 runs, New Zealand fought back to take the Mirpur Test by four wickets. Having been set a target of 137, the tourists were in dire straits at 69/6 but Phillips effected a turnaround.

Phillips (40*), who had already played a crucial knock of 87 in the first innings and picked three important wickets, joined forces with Mitchell Santner (35*) to stitch together a match-winning 70-run stand. The duo overcame the guile and turn of Bangladesh spinners and took the attack to the opposition.

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Phillips revealed that he stuck to the plan that had worked for him in the first innings of the Test.

“I think at the end of the day, I was sticking to my plan. It worked in the first innings,” Phillips, who hit nine fours and four sixes during his first-innings knock, said. “We made adjustments from the first game as well, so it was sticking to that and keeping my processes calm and clear.

“I was still taking the attack to the bowlers when they missed, but at the end of the day, it was about knocking down one run at a time. Take it as deep as possible.”

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He lauded the challenge presented by Bangladesh spinners and ascertained how the scoring opportunities increased as the innings progressed.

“Bangladesh bowlers were really good with the new ball. Some [balls were] skidding on, some [were] spinning. It was tough for our batters. It became a bit more predictable as the ball got older. Thankfully for us, it presented some more scoring opportunities.”

Phillips also praised his partner in the seventh-wicket stand, Santner, for his quick thinking.

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“They were bowling really well at the time. It was a real blessing for us to get to tea. We had a bit of chat, [and] talked a bit about tactics. He [Santner] has got incredibly fast hands. I let him in on my game plan, about staying leg-side of the ball and using my hands and bats to play the ball.

“He thought it was a good option for him as well. The way he came out after tea and really took it to the bowlers, the way he played the offies as well, it was incredibly impressive. It took the pressure off myself.”

The 27-year-old also impressed with the ball, and was the third-highest wicket-taker in the series. He picked eight wickets at an average of 16.37. He thanked his skipper, Tim Southee, for the support.

“Timmy had the confidence to go to me despite knowing that I don't have the experience behind me, but thankfully the conditions were favourable to spinners.”

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