Guptill double-ton takes New Zealand to semi-final
Ahmedabad / Wellington: The name Martin is synonymous with New Zealand cricket in general, and batting excellence in particular, and the man who made it so, Crowe, would not have begrudged the fact that it was another who caused the name to ring around the Wellington Regional Stadium with the kind of exuberant reverence usually reserved for the All Blacks.
Mar-tin! Gup-till! Mar-Tin! Gup-till! Mar-tin! Gup-till! the cheering built to a crescendo, and the response from the middle was pitch perfect. Drilling Andre Russell back down the ground for four, Guptill, on Saturday (March 21) became the first New Zealander to score 200 in a One-Day International.
Guptill’s unbeaten 237, comfortably the highest score in a World Cup match, and only bettered by Rohit Sharma’s 264 in all ODIs, powered New Zealand to 393 for 6 in their ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 quarter-final match. In the end, West Indies managed 250, handing New Zealand a 143-run win and a semi-final spot.
When the innings began, there was little indication from Guptill of what was to come. In fact, it was Brendon McCullum who went hell for leather, but his early fall gave the West Indies purpose.
However, then, the team dropped the first catch that came its way. Marlon Samuels, going low at square-leg, could not hold onto the offering from Guptill, and that proved dear.
That Kane Williamson could not go big, falling for 33, barely went noticed thanks to the manner in which Guptill built his innings. Trotting to 50 off 64 balls, cantering to 100 off 111, till which time he had not attempted one six, Guptill began the gallop, using only 23 balls to add his third 50. He then barreled down the final straight, going from 150 to 200 in 18 balls and then capping things off by smacking 37 off the final 11 balls that came his way. It was an example of perfect innings construction.
Guptill’s early boundaries were his prettiest, driven straight back past the bowler, all along the turf. His middle-innings hits were the most efficient, no premeditation involved, placement marrying timing repeatedly. It was his later efforts, though, that were the most rousing, the ball booming off the middle of the bat to make a mockery of the not inconsequential boundaries that were being cleared with impunity. After this victory, the New Zealand will take on South Africa in the semi final 1 and India will take on Australia in the semi final 2.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
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