T20 World Cup’22, NZ vs SL: New Zealand 167 for 7 (Phillips 104, Rajitha 2-23) beat Sri Lanka 102 (Shanaka 35, Boult 4-13) by 65 runs
In the powerplay, New Zealand was 15 for 3 for Sri Lanka. However, once Glenn Phillips was let go, everything changed for New Zealand. Before Trent Boult and Tim Southee put on a powerplay showcase, taking four wickets between them while the fielding restrictions were still on in Sri Lanka’s chase, Phillips smashed 104 off 64 deliveries to nearly carry New Zealand to 167 for 7 (the next highest score in the team was 22).
Sri Lanka wasted their batters before any kind of base could be established, whereas New Zealand maintained enough resources for a late-overs explosion, scoring 113 off the final 10. After ten overs, they were 58 for 6 and had no hope. They were eventually bowled out for 102, Boult’s career-high score of 4 for 13, and Southee’s score of 1 for 12.
This outcome took New Zealand to the highest point of the Gathering 1 table, with five places and an exceptional net run pace of 3.85. With two points from three matches and a poor NRR of -0.89, it dropped Sri Lanka to near the bottom of the table.As a result, New Zealand is well-positioned to not only win their group but also qualify for the semifinals. However, Sri Lanka will have a very difficult time securing a spot in the semifinals from here.
Phillips gets dropped
We are not attempting to make Phillips’ century appear unearned, as it was undoubtedly earned.However, if Pathum Nissanka had notched a sitter off Wanindu Hasaranga’s seventh over, Phillips would have been out for 12 off 15, and New Zealand would have been 29 for 4. Dasun Shanaka was unable to hold on to a difficult opportunity running in from long off when Phillips was dropped for 45 off the 38th ball he faced.
Phillips’ spectacular hitting
Phillips continued to bully the bowling over the boundary, mostly with brute strength, in the best moments of this outstanding knock as Sri Lanka kept taking the pace off the ball. Particularly impressive were his sixes off Maheesh Theekshana in the 17th over. When the bowler pulled back the length of the next ball, Phillips backed away and pushed Theekshana into the sight screen with a flat bat. He then hit Theekshana high over wide long-on for six. Phillips hit a total of 10 fours and four sixes, all of which came from seam bowling. One of those fours was the fatal pull that brought him to his second century in a Twenty20 international and his second century for New Zealand at a World Cup. Phillips’ 84-run partnership with Daryll Mitchell was the crucial partnership of the innings, helping New Zealand emerge from its abyss. Out of 24, Mitchell contributed 22; Phillips 59 from 40
Boult and Southee carve up the top order
When Southee bowled four swinging, dot balls to Nissanka in the first over of the match, it was clear that things weren’t going well for Sri Lanka. The batter was then pressured into trying a strange leg-side heave, which got him caught lbw. It got worse when Trent Boult took two wickets in the next over, bowling Dhananjaya de Silva off the inside edge and catching Kusal Mendis behind off the outside edge. In Boult’s second over, Charith Asalanka sliced one to the backward point, where Finn Allen took a low catch. After four overs, Sri Lanka was at 8 for 4.They did not appear to ever launch a serious recovery, despite Bhanuka Rajapaksa’s 34 from 22.
Sri Lanka’s excellent early overs
After such a strong start, Sri Lanka will be most disappointed that they failed to win the game. In the first over, Theekshana hit a shot into Allen’s off stump. Devon Conway was bowled by De Silva in the third. In the fourth, Kane Williamson was caught behind by Kasun Rajitha. However, Sri Lanka’s fielding was terrible, whereas New Zealand did a fantastic job. Fumbles in the outfield, mis-fields in the circle, and poor throws from everywhere were among the other errors. The game was somewhat decided by this.