New Zealand allrounder Glenn Phillips praised his partner Mitchell Santner for playing a match-winning knock in the fourth innings of the Dhaka Test against Bangladesh. The duo added an unbeaten 70-run stand for the seventh wicket to chase down the target of 137 on a difficult pitch.

Phillips, who was the top-scorer in both innings with 87 and 40 not out, said that he shared his batting mantra with Santner before they resumed their partnership after tea on the fourth day. New Zealand were in trouble at 69 for 6, with the Bangladesh bowlers exploiting the variable bounce and turn on the surface.

Phillips said that he advised Santner to stay leg-side of the ball and use his hands and bat to play the spinners. Santner, who finished with 35 not out, followed the suggestion and counter-attacked the Bangladesh bowlers with confidence.

“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 said that he stuck to his plan of batting aggressively in the second innings, as he did in the first. He hit nine fours and four sixes in his 72-ball knock in the first innings, which gave New Zealand a slender lead of eight runs.

“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 also credited New Zealand captain Tim Southee for having faith in his bowling abilities. Phillips, who is primarily a batsman, took eight wickets in the series with his off-spin, including a five-wicket haul in the first Test.

“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,” he said.

New Zealand won the Dhaka Test by four wickets and levelled the two-match series 1-1. The match had the third-fewest balls bowled in a Test of the last 100 years, when at least 36 wickets have fallen in both sides. Southee described the pitch as the “worst” of his career.

Santner and Phillips guide New Zealand to victory in Dhaka Test