Image courtesy of: Zimbio
New Zealand opening batsman Martin Guptill stole the spotlight in his side’s 10-wicket win over Sri Lanka in Christchurch as he not only scored the second-fastest fifty in ODI history, but also the fastest ODI half-century by a Black Caps batsman.
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews would have been regretting his decision to bat first as pace bowler Nuwan Kulasekara was the team’s top-scorer with 19 runs, while he and Danushka Gunathilaka made 17 runs each.
Due to Sri Lanka’s entire batting line-up failing to make a major impact, the tourists were skittled out for 117.
Matt Henry was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets, while Mitchell McClenaghan snapped up three and Doug Bracewell and Ish Sodhi chipped in with one wicket apiece.
Chasing 118 to win, Guptill and Tom Latham only needed 8.2 overs to lead New Zealand to victory as they amassed an unbeaten 118-run partnership, during which Guptill brought up his record-breaking half-century.
Guptill ended up finishing on 93 off just 30 balls, which included nine boundaries and eight sixes, while Latham remained undefeated on 17 off 20 deliveries, which included two boundaries.
Mathews was embarrassed by his side’s performance, and said: “It was quite embarrassing. A pathetic batting display, we didn’t give our bowlers a chance. Three more games to go, it’s unfortunate we couldn’t even compete in the first two. We wanted ot be positive up front and not lose too many wickets. But our middle order was exposed again. [We will] use the time off for a net and then also to get our mindsets right, talk to the boys and keep ourselves motivated. There are three more games to turn it around. It was a belter of a pitch, the execution was probably . It didn’t seam and bounce, just was bad shot selection.”
New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum, who injured himself when he hurled himself into an advertising board at the boundary, was thrilled to go 2-0 up in the series, and said: “Just stiff [back]. I asked the guys to go up a gear today after Boxing Day and they responded. Another good toss to lose. The guys started brilliantly and the pitch seemed a touch quicker, which played a part. Henry, Bracewell and McClenaghan [have] started to pose some questions [for the selectors] and the fielding was outstanding as well.
“The new players have understood the dynamics of the group and fitted in perfectly. The likes of Santner have contributed immensely. I thought Guptill was going to get the world record. You can’t describe that, you only see it once or twice and it was genuine strokemaking. There are very few players who can play like that and Martin is certainly one of them. Motivation is not a factor, we are playing for the country. That’s what we expect of us. We are playing a Sri Lanka team who are full of fighters and we need to keep doing our best.”
Guptill was named Man of the Match, and said: “No, I didn’t [get the record]. Got a couple of yorkers so I couldn’t get it. I’ll take a ninety and a win, rather than the fastest fifty and getting out. Just wanted to keep going after the first game. Thought about what could have been if I hadn’t had those sluggish innings before [regarding his turnaround]. I was hoping you could tell me (about what has changed in his batting).”