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T20 World Cup 2022, Gr 1, NZ v SL: Phillips 104, Boult 4-13 help New Zealand maintain pole position

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022, Super 12, Group 1, New Zealand vs Sri Lanka: Glenn Phillips' hundred (104 off 64), Trent Boult's 4-13 and Kasun Rajitha's 2-23 are top performances. New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by 65 runs and top the Group 1 Points table.

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022, Super 12, Group 1, New Zealand vs Sri Lanka_ Glenn Phillips scores century (104) against Sri Lanka in T20 World Cup; New Zealand beat Sri Lanka | Walking Wicket (Source: ©ICC via Getty Images)
Glenn Phillips played one of the great knocks in T20 World Cup (Source: ©ICC via Getty Images)

Brief Scores: New Zealand 167/7 (Phillips 104, Mitchell 22, Rajitha 2/23) beat Sri Lanka 102 (Shanaka 35, Rajapaksa 34, Boult 4/13) by 65 runs

Player of the Match: Glenn Phillips (104 off 64 deliveries)

New Zealand manage to manufacture a different match-winner in every game. A new hero in this game was Glenn Phillips who not just saved New Zealand when they were 15-3 but also scored a counter-attacking century out of nowhere. Sloppy Sri Lanka had no one but themselves to blame for this loss. Two dropped catches, few run out chances being missed and an out of juice batting display summed up Sri Lanka’s day in Sydney.

Glenn Phillips stuns Sri Lanka with 104

After two washouts on Friday in Melbourne, the group of death was back with an exciting encounter between New Zealand and Sri Lanka at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 27th game of ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022. Head-to-head, New Zealand have got the better of Sri Lanka 10 times out of the 19 T20Is in which they have met, with one being a washout. The number goes for a toss in T20 World Cups, where Sri Lanka have won four out of the five games they have faced New Zealand.

After winning the toss, Kane Williamson decided to bowl first with the recovered Daryl Mitchell back in the eleven in place of Mark Chapman. For Sri Lanka too, Binura Fernando who sustained an injury, was replaced by Kasun Rajitha.

Sri Lanka struck first blood on the fourth ball of the innings when Finn Allen was foxed by a delivery which turned sharply after pitching outside off from Maheesh Theekshana, and was clean bowled for one run. Devon Conway and skipper Kane Williamson didn’t stick long either as both were dismissed with New Zealand being three down for 15 runs on the board at the end of the fourth over.

The onus was on Daryl Mitchell and Glenn Phillips to lift New Zealand from the slump towards a respectable total. The duo stitched a classic partnership with ones, twos and the odd boundaries in between. A match-propelling and match-saving partnership of 84 runs between the two ensured New Zealand touched the 100-run mark at the brink of the 15th over. Sri Lanka were very sloppy in the field with respect to catching, throwing and overall ground-fielding as they dropped two catches of Phillips who made sure they paid for their mistakes and went on to score a 64-ball 104 runs to take New Zealand from 15-3 to 167-7 at the end of the 20th over.

If New Zealand lost both the openers in two overs, Sri Lanka’s openers didn’t disappoint either as Tim Southee started with a maiden wicket first over. In fact, one of the most rattling opening bowling combos of Tim Southee and Trent Boult went on to reduce Sri Lanka to 8-4 inside four overs. Sri Lanka’s batters looked down and out and had already given up on the run chase of 168. Bhanuka Rajapaksa played a short cameo of 34 runs off just 22 deliveries along with skipper Dasun Shanaka who scored 35 off 32 deliveries to give something for the Sri Lankan supporters in the stands to cheer about.

The match was done and dusted in the 12th over itself but the lower order managed to delay the inevitable and Sri Lanka were finally bowled out for 102 in the 20th over to hand New Zealand an easy win by 65 runs.

Let’s scan the top three performances from the Group 1 game between New Zealand and Sri Lanka in ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022.

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022, Super 12, Group 1, New Zealand vs Sri Lanka_ Glenn Phillips played one of the all-time great knocks in T20 World Cup; scored 61-ball hundred against Sri Lanka _ Walking Wicket (Source_ ©ICC via Getty Images)
Glenn Phillips roars are he brings up his maiden T20 WC century (Source: ©ICC via Getty Images)

Glenn Phillips smashes a century to save New Zealand

Glenn Phillips went into the middle in the third over of the innings, much earlier than he must have anticipated with both the openers back in the hut. Striking a four off the second ball of his innings, his intentions looked clearer than the skies at the SCG. Phillips along with Mitchell who played second fiddle in the partnership did exactly what teams do after a collapse, play a recovery innings. Phillips didn’t leave a single loose ball as he smashed the leather off the cricket ball playing some innovative shots down the ground and over covers to dismantle the Lankan bowlers.

Scoring 18 runs off Chamika Karunaratne in the 14th over changed the momentum in New Zealand’s favour and he did not put the foot off the gas pedal even for a moment thereafter. In the last five overs, New Zealand scored 65 runs out of which 39 were scored by Glenn Phillips himself. A fantastic counter-attacking knock by Glenn Phillips brought about the second century of T20 World Cup 2022.

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022, Super 12, Group 1, New Zealand vs Sri Lanka_ Trent Boult took 4-13 against Sri Lanka in Super 12 game; New Zealand beat Sri Lanka _ Walking Wicket (Source_ ©ICC via Getty Images)
Trent Boult ran through Sri Lanka's top-order (Source: ©ICC via Getty Images)

Trent Boult rattles Sri Lanka’s top-order with 4-13

Sharing the new ball with Tim Southee who had already made an inroad into the Sri Lankan innings with a maiden wicket over, Trent Boult doubled it up by taking two wickets in three deliveries. The first one was Kusal Mendis who played a nothing drive without getting towards the pitch of the delivery to an outswinger cum off-cutter bowled by Boult only to edge it to the keeper. A good length delivery from the left-arm angle was enough for the right-handed Dhananjaya de Silva who just ended up chopping it back onto the stumps in an attempt to play a cut shot. Boult followed on the third delivery of his second over by a fuller outswinger to the left-handed Charith Asalanka who carved it straight to Finn Allen at backward point.

Boult who was breathing fire at the SCG made sure to mark his best figures for New Zealand in T20Is as he bagged his fourth wicket with the last ball of his spell to dismiss Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka to put the final nail on Sri Lanka’s run chase.

A fascinating cricket trivia for the trivia lovers, all the four wickets bagged by Boult – Mendis, De Silva, Asalanka and Dasun Shanaka - had never faced the bowler in T20Is before Saturday’s encounter. Boult’s 4-13 are also the third best figures by a New Zealand bowler in T20Is after Mark Gillespie’s 4-7 and Mitchell Santner’s 4-11.

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022, Super 12, Group 1, New Zealand vs Sri Lanka_ Kasun Rajitha playing T20I after three years gap and took 2-23 against New Zealand; New Zealand beat Sri Lanka _ Walking Wicket (Source_ ©AFP_Getty Images)
Kasun Rajitha took 2-23 in first T20I after 2019 (Source: ©AFP/Getty Images)

Rajitha the only shining star for Sri Lanka with figures of 2-23

Pacer Kasun Rajitha who replaced Sri Lanka's lead pacer Dushmantha Chameera in the squad was playing his first T20I match after 2019, where he was hammered for 75 runs in his spell of four overs. Rajitha put history behind him and dismissed New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson with a proper Test match delivery which pitched on a good length and shaped away a wee bit taking the star batter’s edge.

Rajitha then came back for his final over in the 18th over of the innings when New Zealand were wreaking havoc. Dismissing the dangerous Jimmy Neesham with a beauty of a slower delivery, Rajitha then managed to keep Glenn Phillips quiet when he was looking the most dangerous, with a clever mix of slower deliveries.

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 Group 1 Points Table

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 Group 1 Points Table
Group 1 Points Table

Points Table Scenario & What’s Next

New Zealand are firmly placed at the top of Group 1 with 5 points from 3 games and a more than healthy net run rate (NRR) of 3.850. Sri Lanka lag behind at the fifth place with 2 points from 3 games and a NRR of -0.890.

New Zealand have two games left with England and Ireland, while Sri Lanka are still to meet Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

A triple-header Sunday for Group 2 where Bangladesh will take on a rejuvenated Zimbabwe at the Gabba in Brisbane, followed by Match 29 between Pakistan and Netherlands in Perth. Pakistan spectators might just stay back to cheer for their neighbours India as the latter face South Africa in the last game of the day at the same venue.

Sunday will determine the faith of two teams in Group 2, a must win game for Pakistan to stay alive in the tournament. If Zimbabwe manage to defeat Bangladesh, Pakistan and Netherlands will be virtually eliminated from the tournament. All the teams in Group 2 have played two games each with India standing tall at the top with 4 points and a NRR of 1.425 with Pakistan and Netherlands yet to open their accounts at the bottom of the table.

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