T20 World Cup: Phillips, Boult flatten Lanka as NZ consolidate top spot

Glenn Phillips
Glenn Phillips en ruote to his smashing ton. Photo: AFP/David Gray

Sydney: Glenn Phillips scored a brilliant century to rescue New Zealand after a rocky start and fire them to an emphatic 65-run victory over Sri Lanka on Saturday which sent the Black Caps clear at the top of Group 1 at the Twenty20 World Cup.

The muscular right-hander helped resurrect New Zealand's innings from 15/3 in the fourth over and departed for 104 with his team closing on their ultimate tally of 167/7.

With paceman Trent Boult (4/13) to the fore, the New Zealand bowlers took over and gave Sri Lanka an even worse start, reducing the 2014 champions to 8/4 in the fourth over and dismissing them for 102 in the 20th.

Tied with England, Australia and Ireland at the top of the rain-disrupted Super 12 group at the start of the evening, New Zealand moved two points clear of their rivals and ensured their net run rate remained impressive.

Sri Lanka will now need a remarkable run of results to grab one of the top two spots and a place in the semifinals but a balmy spring evening at the Sydney Cricket Ground started well for the recent Asia Cup winners.

Maheesh Theekshana foxed Finn Allen with a skidding delivery, off-spinner Dhananjaya de Silva deceived Devon Conway with flight and Kane Williamson nicked a Kasun Rajitha delivery to leave New Zealand in all sorts of trouble.

With Daryl Mitchell, Phillips steadied the ship in an 84-run stand for the fourth wicket before the all-rounder was bowled for 22 by de Silva.

Phillips, who was dropped on 12 and 45, was already in his stride and continued to thread his shots through the field for boundaries as New Zealand's expected score eased up from acceptable to respectable.

The 25-year-old, who hit four sixes, roared with delight as he punched one of his 10 fours through square leg to become the second player to score a century in the tournament after South Africa's Rilee Rossouw at the same ground on Thursday.

Trent Boult
New Zealand's Trent Boult, centre, celebrates with teammates after taking a wicket. Photo: AFP/David Gray

Sri Lanka were always going to struggle after Boult and Tim Southee had toppled their top order and once the third quick, Lockie Ferguson, had Bhanuka Rajapaksa caught at mid off for 34, the cause looked lost.

Skipper Dasun Shanaka stood his ground with a defiant 35 but had little help from the tailenders and holed out to give Boult his fourth wicket.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.