Millennium Post

Sublime Guptill fires Kiwis into semis

Sublime Guptill fires Kiwis into semis
Powered by Guptill's double century, the sixth in ODIs, the Black Caps posted a monumental 393/6 in 50 overs before bowling out the Windies for 250 with 19.3 overs to go. The New Zealand innings had Guptill written all over it after captain Brendon McCullum (12) opted to bat. The right-hander broke several records with his sparkling knock which came in only 163 deliveries and included 24 boundaries and 11 sixes.

The 237 not out is now the highest individual World Cup score, beating Chris Gayle's 215 which came earlier in the tournament against Zimbabwe. It is also the second highest ODI score after Indian Rohit Sharma's 264. The 28-year-old from Auckland also became the first batsman from his country to score back-to-back Cup hundreds, following his 105 against Bangladesh in a Pool A game in Hamilton on March 13.

Guptill also broke the record of the highest ODI individual score by a New Zealander when he went past his own 189 not out which came two years ago against England at Southampton. The double century helped the Black Caps post the highest score in a World Cup knock-out game, going past Australia's 359/2 in the 2003 final against India. All this came after Marlon Samuels dropped Guptill at square leg when he was batting at four. Guptill's innings was purely about clean hitting and no slog shots, not even in the death overs. His ability to score straight down the ground helped the co-hosts hammer 153 runs in the last 10 overs.

Ross Taylor (42), Kane Williamson (33) and Grant Elliot (27) also played significant cameos as Guptill went about his business. "The 237 hasn't really sunk in. We still have a lot of work to do, so can't dwell too much on this. We had a couple of good partnerships early with Kane and Ross that really set the game up for us to explode at the end,” Guptill said.

The Windies bowlers did not have much to boast about as all went for more than six runs per over. Jerome Taylor (3-71) and Andre Russell (2-96) were the only ones to pick up wickets but both went for more than 9.6 runs per over. Chasing the huge target, the two-time champions kept scoring at a high run rate of over eight per over. However, they lost wickets throughout their innings and no batsman rose up to play the anchor's knock.

Their only 50-plus partnership was for the third wicket between Chris Gayle (61) and Marlon Samuels (27). The former smashed eight sixes and two boundaries in his 33-ball knock before being bowled by Adam Milne (1-42). The only other notable contribution came down the order from captain Jason Holder, who hit a 26-ball 42 which included five fours and two sixes.

Nzl calm about ease of west indies win

New Zealand match-winners Martin Guptill and Trent Boult downplayed the ease with which they rolled the West Indies on Saturday as they switched attention to their World Cup semi-final against South Africa. Guptill said he was proud of what he achieved "and hopefully we can win another game and then another one after that." Boult was reluctant to criticise the performance of the West Indies, who have been inconsistent throughout the tournament, but said he expected South Africa would be a step up when they meet in Auckland on Tuesday.

"We knew they (West Indies) have had their troubles but we knew they would be competitive. They've virtually got 11 match winners in their team," Boult said, overlooking New Zealand's thumping victory with more than 19 overs to spare. He axdded: “Now we can focus on the South Africans and they're going to be as equal a challenge if not better. We will scout them and prepare for that game like we have for every other one, and set the game plan down and give it our best on Tuesday." Guptill's exceptional innings of 237* is the second highest score ever in an ODI and the highest at any World Cup.
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