Phillips scores blistering century, Boult takes four to leave Sri Lanka on the brink of elimination.
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 at the T20 World Cup.
Saturday’s win also took the Black Caps clear at the top of Group 1.
The muscular right-hander helped resurrect New Zealand’s innings from 15 for three in the fourth over. He eventually fell in the final over having scored 104 with his team finishing the innings at 167 for seven.
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 eight for four 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 day, New Zealand moved two points clear of their rivals and improved their already impressive net run rate.
Sri Lanka will now need a remarkable run of results to grab one of the top two spots and a place in the semi-finals.
It all started well for the Asia Cup champions on a balmy spring evening at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Finn Allen took apart Australia’s hallowed pace attack in their opening game during a 16-ball 42, but he managed just three balls and one run this time, confounded by an in-swinger in the opening over.
Devon Conway, who smashed an unbeaten 92 against Australia, fared little better, with spinner Dhananjaya de Silva dismissing him for just one.
Things got worse when skipper Kane Williamson (eight) got an outside edge off pace bowler Kasun Rajitha in the next over.
Phillips and Daryl Mitchell, returning to the side after fracturing his hand, crawled to 54 for three at the halfway point.
But Phillips then flicked a switch and began swinging the bat, with sloppy fielding aiding him, dropped by Pathum Nissanka on 12 and again on 45 by skipper Dasun Shanaka.
An 84-run stand with Mitchell ended when his partner was bowled for 22 by Wanindu Hasaranga. Mitchell Santner was alongside him when he brought up only his second T20 100 in the 19th over before being dismissed.