Martin Guptill has estabilished himself as one of the most destructive batsmen in limited-overs cricket but the New Zealand opener continues to finish second in several record-breaking lists.
Guptill came tantalisingly close to smashing the fastest fifty in ODIs as the Black Caps gunned down the target of 118 in 8.2 overs. Guptill, who had moved to 46 off 13 balls, had de Villiers’ record of 16 balls for a half-century in his sights before two yorkers from Nuwan Kulasekara ended the bid.
He brought up his 50 off 17 balls, with five boundaries and four sixes, and finished unbeaten on 93 off 30 balls. Guptill’s strike-rate of 310 is the second highest in an ODI innings (minimum of 25 balls faced). The highest strike-rate belongs also to de Villiers (339) when he hammered a 44-ball 149 against the West Indies at the beginning of this year.
This has been a dream year for Guptill, who became the first New Zealander to score a double hundred in ODIs. He had smashed 237 against the West Indies in the World Cup and recorded the second-highest individual score in one-day internationals.
Today, he was primed to break at least de Villiers’ record but like Guptill admitted later, he had no clue about that.
“I was trying to hit as many runs as I could, as quick as I could. The plan was always to go out and be aggressive, and create a strike-rate at the top of the innings. The first time I thought about the record was when the umpire said to me: ‘You’ve got two balls to get it or something like that.’ That’s the first time it came to my head,” Guptill said after helping the hosts to a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.
Guptill had shot into prominence with a hundred on ODI debut against West Indies in 2009. Six years later, he is a key player for New Zealand and continues to rise in stature internationally.