Guptill has blast as New Zealand post 371 against Sri Lanka

TAURANGA, New Zealand (AFP) – Martin Guptill celebrated his return to the New Zealand line-up with a masterful century as New Zealand posted 371 for seven in the first one-day international against Sri Lanka in Tauranga yesterday.

James Neesham, also recalled to the New Zealand side, marked his return with five sixes in one over on his way an unbeaten 47 off 13 deliveries.

Guptill, who had been sidelined by injury in recent months, blasted 138 off 139 deliveries after captain Kane Williamson won the toss and opted to bat.

There were 14 sixes in the New Zealand innings, six of them from Neesham and five from Guptill who also smacked 11 fours in the course of his 14th One Day International (ODI) century.

Guptill became the ninth fastest batsman to reach 6,000 ODI runs during his innnings, achieving the milestone in his 160th match at an average of 43.67.

Williamson was also in sight of a century until he miscued an attempted late cut and chopped a short Nuwan Pradeep delivery on to his stumps and was out for 76 while Ross Taylor made 54.

Neesham took 33 off the penultimate over when he smacked Kusal Perera for five sixes, a single and a two with the two coming off one of five no balls from full tosses above waist height.

Lasith Malinga, who finished with two for 78, fired three full tosses above waist height but escaped censure while Pradeep received an official warning after firing one high full-toss at Taylor.

New Zealand’s Martin Guptill bats during the first ODI cricket
match against Sri Lanka. – AFP