With the help of a magnificent century from Glenn Phillips, New Zealand was able to defeat Sri Lanka by 65 runs at the SCG and go to the semifinals of the Twenty20 World Cup.
After being dropped on 12 with the Black Caps’ innings faltering at 3-28, Phillips made Sri Lanka pay for a terrible night in the field by bringing New Zealand’s total to 7-167 with his 104 runs scored off of 64 balls.
Trent Boult, bowling at a pace of 4-13, struck three times early on as Sri Lanka’s batting order collapsed, bringing their score down to 4-8 before they were eventually all out for 102 runs in the 20th over.
Because of this outcome, New Zealand is now in a position where they can virtually likely qualify for the finals with a win over either England or Ireland in their remaining two games, since the net-run-rate is strongly in their favor.
After that, Australia, England, Ireland, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan will compete for the final qualifying position out of the group. Each of these teams will need to win their final two matches to have any chance of advancing.
Even though England has a better net run rate than the other four teams, their match against New Zealand in Brisbane on Tuesday night is shaping up to be a difficult one. England’s opponent this time is the Black Caps.
However, if England are defeated by the Black Caps, Australia will advance to the next round if they are victorious in both of their remaining matches against Ireland at the Gabba on Monday and Afghanistan on Friday in Adelaide.
If England wins that match, then Australia has a chance to go to the semi-finals as well, provided they win their matches against Ireland and Afghanistan by a sufficient margin to put their net run rate (NRR) higher than England’s (0.239).
Boult and Tim Southee (1-12) often cause problems for other teams’ top-order batsmen, which is a sign that the Black Caps’ pace attack is on its way to being one of the finest in the competition.
Even though their top-order collapsed early on Saturday night, Phillips’ knock demonstrated that the New Zealanders have a lot of depth with the bat.
Phillips was the only one who genuinely looked in on the newly-prepared track after the SCG had appeared to be a batter’s paradise in its opening three games.
The right-hander initially assisted in keeping the ship afloat by contributing to an 84-run fourth-wicket stand with Daryl Mitchell (22), and then powered the team to victory in the final few overs.
His final 63 runs came off of 28 balls, three of which were hit for six, and three of those sixes were hit down the ground.
The only people Sri Lanka could blame for the outcome was themselves.
The opportunity presented to Pathum Nissanka to remove Phillips at long off on 12 was a walk in the park, whilst Dasun Shanaka failed to take advantage of a challenging opportunity to do the same with Phillips on 45.
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