Glen Phillips’ ton, Trent Boult’s 4-fer helps NZ beat SL in T20 WC | Cricket

Glenn Phillips hit a brilliant century to rescue New Zealand from a difficult spell and lead them to an emphatic 65-run victory on Saturday that sent the Black Caps top of Group 1 in the World Twenty20. The muscular right-hander helped New Zealand recover from 3 for 15 in the fourth innings and went for 104 as his team reached 167 for seven.

With Trent Boult (4-13) at the helm, the New Zealand bowlers gave Sri Lanka an even worse start, reducing the 2014 champions to 8-4 in the fourth over and sending them to 102 in the 20th over.

New Zealand, tied with England, Australia and Ireland at the top of the Super 12 group, which was rained out earlier in the evening, improved on their impressive clean run record to move two points clear of their rivals.

Sri Lanka will now need excellent results to secure one of the top two spots and a place in the semi-finals, but a balmy spring evening at the Sydney Cricket Ground got off to a good start for the recent Asia Cup winners.

Mahiesh Teekshana bowled Finn Allen at slip, spinner Dhananjaya de Silva bowled Devon Conway and Kane Williamson took a Kasun Rajitha delivery to leave New Zealand in all sorts of trouble.

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

Falling for 12 and 45, Phillips was already in his stride and continued to drive his shots across the field for boundaries as New Zealand’s expected score dropped from acceptable to respectable.

The 25-year-old, who hit four sixes, hit one of his 10 fours at square leg to become only the second player to score a century in the tournament after South Africa’s Riley Rossouw on Thursday.

Sri Lanka were always going to struggle after Boult and Tim Southee collapsed their top order and third quick Lockie Ferguson looked lost when Bhanuka Rajapaksa was caught at mid-wicket on 34.

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

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