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Martin Guptill lifts New Zealand to Twenty20 World Cup win over Scotland

Martin Guptill of the New Zealand BlackCaps hits a six during the ICC Men's T20 World Cup match between New Zealand and Scotland at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai, UAE on Wednesday 3rd November 2021. Copyright photo: David Gray / www.photosport.nz

DAVID GRAY

Martin Guptill of the New Zealand BlackCaps hits a six during the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup match between New Zealand and Scotland at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai, UAE on Wednesday 3rd November 2021. Copyright photo: David Gray / www.photosport.nz

A crucial innings from Martin Guptill has maintained New Zealand’s chances of making the Twenty20 World Cup semifinals after a scratchy win over Scotland.

Guptill hammered 93 off just 56 balls – as his fellow batters struggled in Dubai – to ensure the Black Caps avoided a horror slip-up against the rank underdogs.

Batting first in the Group Two game, NZ overcame some top-order wobbles – including a duck from captain Kane Williamson – to make 172-5 in their 20 overs.

That proved too much for Scotland, who fell 16 runs short despite rarely looking like chasing down their target after a brisk start.

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That gave NZ two wins from three games in the tournament, including a critical eight-wicket triumph over India to give them the inside running for a place in the last four.

Pakistan have already qualified for the semifinals after four consecutive wins, while Afghanistan were due to meet India in a key encounter later on Thursday morning (NZ time).

STUFF

Martin Guptill is ready for the Black Caps’ T20 World Cup opener against Pakistan.

The Black Caps were given a scare when they lost their first two wickets in the fifth over, with opener Daryl Mitchell falling lbw for 13 off 11 balls before captain Kane Williamson made a four-ball duck when he glanced a delivery from Safyaan Sharif through to wicketkeeper Matthew Cross.

It was just the fourth T20I duck for Williamson in 68 innings – his second in Dubai and his second this season, after being dismissed for 0 against Australia in Wellington in March.

Wicketkeeper-batter Devon Conway fell soon after to leave NZ 52-3 early in the sixth over, but Guptill got support from Glenn Phillips to rectify the previous troubles after Scotland skipper Kyle Coetzer won the toss

Safyaan Sharif of Scotland, second from right, celebrates with team-mates after dismissing New Zealand captain Kane Williamson during their T20 World Cup match in Dubai.

DAVID GRAY/Photosport

Safyaan Sharif of Scotland, second from right, celebrates with team-mates after dismissing New Zealand captain Kane Williamson during their T20 World Cup match in Dubai.

The 35-year-old struck seven sixes and six fours and during his innings became just the second men’s player (joining Indian captain Virat Kohli) to score 3000 runs or more in T20 internationals.

His fourth-wicket partnership with Phillips (33 off 37 balls) was worth 105 and compiled in just 12.2 overs. Guptill looked poised to make his third T20I century but was clearly physically taxed in the 32 degree heat by his exertions late in his innings.

Left-arm spinner Mark Watt was again outstanding for Scotland, taking 1-13 off his four overs but was not used while Phillips and Guptill managed to turn the innings around.

Martin Guptill of New Zealand BlackCaps celebrates bringing up his half-century in Dubai.

DAVID GRAY/Photosport

Martin Guptill of New Zealand BlackCaps celebrates bringing up his half-century in Dubai.

Scotland also gave NZ some initial concerns with the bat, as Cross struck five consecutive fours off Adam Milne’s second over to leave his side handily placed at 48-1 after the six-over powerplay, before their challenge ran out of steam despite a late dash from Michael Leask (42 not out from 20 balls).

New Zealand will next face Namibia starting on Friday night (11pm NZ time), with the final group match against Afghanistan.

New Zealand 172-5 (M Guptill 93, G Phillips 33; S Sharif 2-28, B Wheal 2-40) beat Scotland 156-5 (M Leask 42no, M Cross 27; T Boult 2-29, I Sodhi 2-42) by 16 runs.



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