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Bangladesh v New Zealand 2023

Glenn Phillips has just put in one of the great non-century Test batting performances

Glenn Phillips NZ vs BAN
by Naman Agarwal 3 minute read

When Glenn Phillips came in to bat in the first innings of the second Bangladesh-New Zealand Test in Mirpur, the setting was all too familiar. A visiting western side were all at sea on a raging turner in the subcontinent.

Bangladesh had managed to get past 150 in the first innings, finishing on 172, a total that was much bigger than it looked, as New Zealand were about to find out.

11.2 overs into their innings, the visitors lost their top four for just 46, including their lynchpin, Kane Williamson. Two balls later, they lost their No.6, Tom Blundell, bringing Phillips in.


Batting is a lonely act. And ironically, it gets lonelier when you are surrounded by a host of fielders, screaming around in a foreign language, which is what Phillips encountered when he stepped in. The first ball he faced deflected off his pads, going just past leg slip for four. Bangladesh didn’t mind.

The entire second day was washed out due to rain and when play resumed almost a day and a half later, Phillips knew that this was not a surface meant for hanging around. It took him four deliveries to find his first boundary of the day (day three). His mantra was simple: hang back, not get flustered by balls beating his bat, invite the bowlers to bowl fuller, and take them down when they do. He hit four sixes in the first innings, three slogs over the leg side and one lofted drive over long off.

By the time he got out, Phillips had raced to 87 off just 72 balls and had taken New Zealand to 180, eight runs more than Bangladesh’s total on a surface where every single run mattered. After the day’s play, he said, “I was just trying to play with my bat as much as possible and picking my poison effectively.”

Allowing New Zealand to take a lead after having them seven down for 97 eventually proved costly for Bangladesh. They were bowled out for 144 in the third innings, setting up a target of 137 for the visitors to level the series. However, on a day four Mirpur surface that was turning square from day one, it wasn’t going to be easy.

Once again, New Zealand found themselves five down for close to fifty, and once again, it was down to Phillips to rescue the visitors. And he didn’t disappoint. An unbeaten 70-run partnership with Mitchell Santner took New Zealand over the line with Phillips remaining unbeaten on 40 off 48 balls.

Phillips might have not breached the three-figure mark in either innings, but the impact of his performance in this Test was invaluable. In a game where the rest of the 21 batters combined to score 471 runs at an average of 13.85 runs per dismissal, Phillips scored 127 runs at better than a run-a-ball.

More than 20 per cent of the runs off the bat in this Test across both teams were scored by Phillips. For New Zealand, that number rises to 41.3 per cent. His 127 runs in this Test are also the second most scored by a visiting batter batting at No.7 or lower in Bangladesh, without crossing 100 in either innings. And to top it all, the runs came at a strike rate of 105.83. No other visiting batter has scored more runs in a Test match at a higher strike rate in Bangladesh.

Phillips came into this series having played only one Test match before and with questions hanging over his place in the side. He’ll go back having put in a performance of a lifetime and with a Player of the Match award.

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