Guptill inspires Black Caps

New Zealand batsman smashes career-best 91 in T20 opener

Last updated: 11th February 2012  

Guptill inspires Black Caps

Martin Guptill: Struck 91no off only 54 balls at Eden Park

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Martin Guptill blasted 91 not out off only 54 balls as New Zealand romped to a seven-wicket victory in the opening Twenty20 international against Zimbabwe at Auckland.

Guptill, who scored 232 runs in the preceding three-match one-day international series at an average of 77, continued his rich vein of form as the Black Caps chased down their 160 target with 19 balls and seven wickets to spare.

The right-handed opener struck five boundaries and six sixes in a swashbuckling innings at Eden Park - the first of two T20 internationals to be played between these teams.

His knock came after a fourth half-century from Hamilton Mazakadze had helped Zimbabwe post a credible 159-8 from their 20 overs.

Prowess

Masakadza cracked three boundaries and three sixes to top score with 53 off 36 balls and Elton Chigumbura added some late impetus to the innings - clearing the fence four times en route to 48 from 24 deliveries.

Kiwi left-arm seamer Michael Bates, who bowled Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor in his first over, grabbed two wickets in the 20th over to finish with innings-best figures of 3-31.

But the Zimbabwe attack simply had no answer to the attacking prowess of Guptill, who took the game away from them with a career-best knock in the shortest format.

It could have been a different story had Guptill not been dropped on the boundary when on 20, however the 25-year-old made the most of his life and shared a 137-run partnership with Kane Williamson (48no) to ensure a comfortable win.

Zimbabwe's tour of New Zealand concludes after the second Twenty20 international at Seddon Park in Hamilton on February 14.

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