Martin Guptill fell short of a third Twenty20 international century but his strong return to form helped New Zealand to a four-run win over Australia in the second match in Dunedin yesterday.
The 34-year-old opener used the occasion of the first T20I to be hosted at Dunedin's University Oval to announce that he's far from a spent force in the most dynamic form of the game.
Guptill scored 97 from just 50 balls in leading his team to 219. In doing so he struck eight sixes, taking him to 132 in T20Is, passing India's Rohit Sharma (127).
After a lean trot that extended to his form for Auckland in the Super Smash, Guptill had seen his stock on the T20 circuit fall. He came into this match with perhaps as much pressure on his white-ball status as there ever has been. What he delivered was a wide-open window to his immense talent."Outstanding knock from Martin," Kane Williamson said. "The presence he brings at the top of the order along with that power game that he has, it was great to see that today." Guptill's knock ended a run of low scores after he was out for a duck in Christchurch and made a total of 46 runs in three T20I's against Pakistan in December.
New Zealand extended their lead to 2-0 in the five-match series.