New Zealand batsman Martin Guptill continued a dream run of form as the Black Caps posted a six wicket win over South Africa in the opening Twenty20 international in Wellington yesterday.
Martin Guptill hits a six during yesterday's T20I against SA. Pic/AFP
Guptill's undefeated 78 off 55 balls was his sixth successive international half-century, steering New Zealand to four for 148 with four balls to spare in reply to South Africa's six for 147.
The opener, who put Zimbabwe's attack to the sword in the recent tour whitewash, looked comfortable against more challenging opposition in South Africa's first trip to New Zealand in eight years. He smashed four sixes in his innings, one booming effort off Lonwabo Tsotsobe's bowling sailing onto the roof of Westpac Stadium before it bounced back down onto the pitch.
Kane Williamson also made a valuable cameo with 24 off 22 balls, while paceman Tim Southee took three for 28 to limit South Africa's total. New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum's decision to send South Africa into bat on a slow pitch after winning the toss paid dividends with early wickets, preventing the Proteas building momentum.
JP Duminy top scored for South Africa with 41, while Justin Ontong, returning to the national team after a three-year absence, hit four successive sixes in his 32 off 17 balls.