World record falls as Phillips leads Black Caps to crushing win

Author
Dylan Cleaver, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 29 Nov 2020, 7:26PM
Glenn Phillips celebrates his record-breaking century. Photo / Getty
Glenn Phillips celebrates his record-breaking century. Photo / Getty

World record falls as Phillips leads Black Caps to crushing win

Author
Dylan Cleaver, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 29 Nov 2020, 7:26PM

Glenn Phillips has a stance at the crease and the tics to go with it that hint at homage to Steve Smith.

The obvious difference is that, statistically at least, Smith is the best batsman in the world. Phillips isn't and would not claim to be, but for an hour or so on a windswept and slate-grey day, he was the most powerful.

The 23 year old was in the mythic "zone", scoring a belligerent and inventive 108 off 51 balls as New Zealand secured their first series victory of the summer. His dismissal came off the penultimate delivery of the innings and one ball after he appeared to momentarily displace his kneecap in an echo of the first T20.

Phillips' 184-run partnership with Devon Conway (65*) was a world record for the third wicket in T20Is, and the fourth highest for any wicket and he became just the fourth New Zealander to score a T20I century behind Brendon McCullum (two), Martin Guptill (two) and the absent Colin Munro (three). His was the fastest.

The 72-run victory was more than enough for a 2-0 lead with just tomorrow night's dead rubber to play, and a fair reflection of the gap between the sides.

After the cartoon version of cricket that was sketched at Eden Park on Friday night, this was sport on a more rational level, even if Phillips brought an element of the unexplainable to proceedings.

To state the obvious: New Zealand batted with authority.

To lament the conspicuous: the West Indies were awful in the field.

How much the second played into the first is a matter for conjecture but it didn't help the visitors' cause. Kieron Pollard made a mess of an early chance and that set the tone for a series of flubs. If you were being unkind, you could speculate that the West Indies had one look at the conditions and thought, 'This is not a day for cricket.'

They could be forgiven for that. The conditions in the first innings belied the seaside holiday venue where it was taking place but it was Pollard that decided they were bowl-first conditions.

For a brief moment, it looked the right call.

Guptill looked out of sorts early, best demonstrated by a slicing lofted drive that should have been caught by Pollard at mid-off but which instead evaded all human contact on the way to the boundary. It took 17 deliveries, an eternity in the short form, before he got the levers in sync smashing Keemo Paul wide over long-on for the first six of the afternoon.

Seifert was only slightly more fluent, toggling between punchy drives and squirts to the vacant third-man boundary.

The pair had suddenly clicked into gear when it was over, first Seifert lap-scooping Oshane Thomas onto his off stump, then Guptill strangling himself off a Fabian Allen ball that was headed harmlessly down the leg side.

Conway, batting first drop, also took time to assess the pace of the pitch but did nothing to dissuade the popular opinion that he will score a lot of runs for his adopted country in all forms over the next five years.

He happily played bass while Phillips shredded away on lead guitar.

The West Indies never threatened New Zealand's imposing 238-3. The entire innings almost felt immaterial, though there was a chance for Ish Sodhi to roll his arm over after missing out in Auckland.

Opener Andre Fletcher looked momentarily dangerous but as if his day couldn't get any better, Phillips removed him with a direct hit from side-on for 20.

He immediately celebrated by mimicking a sniper. It would have looked pretty rank at Lord's but since when is a T20I at Mt Maunganui any place for the fun police?

Oh yeah, he also took a boundary catch that might not be bettered all summer - but we won't mention that, lest he get a big head.