Phillips said that batting out the 3.1 overs leading into the tea break was crucial for New Zealand at that point. He said that he told Santner about his method of playing at the Shere Bangla National Stadium pitch. Santner took the advice on board, ending up unbeaten on 35.
“They were bowling really well at the time,” Phillips said. “It was a real blessing for us to get to tea. We had a bit of chat, talked a bit about tactics. He 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.”
Phillips, who top-scored in both innings with 87 and 40 not out, said that he wanted to bat in the second innings in the same way he batted in the first. He struck nine fours and four sixes in his 72-ball knock in the first dig.
“I think at the end of the day, I was sticking to my plan. It worked in the first innings. 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,” he said.
Phillips said that New Zealand taking the lead by eight runs at the end of the first innings ensured that they had the mental edge over Bangladesh. “Winning the toss was key for Bangladesh. It was a blessing to get ahead of their first innings total. Those eight runs made a lot of difference. It gave the boys the confidence in the second innings with the bat.
“The Bangladesh bowlers were really good with the new ball. Some skidding on, some 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,” he said.
Phillips also ended with eight wickets in the Test series, fulfilling his wish to be a relevant bowler in the New Zealand attack. “It was a dream of mine for a long time to actually bowl so many overs. To be able to take a few wickets as well. The process that I have actually been through has paid off.
“Timmy (Southee) 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.”