Sunday, 23 December 2012

Special ton by Guptill

Thanks to those lovely people at Bet365.com, I saw a special T20 century by Martin Guptill against South Africa that single-handedly won New Zealand the game.

Guptill was sidelined from the first match with a nasty stomach bug, so bad, according to the commentators, that he was on a drip. He made a point today for a New Zealand side that was barely recognisable. Most of the major players were missing and after Guptill, Nicol and McCullum in the top three they looked short of batting, this after looking thin in bowling earlier.

Henry Davids looked a livewire in the Herschelle Gibbs mould at the top of the order for South Africa, while Faf du Plessis confirmed his talent with a delightful knock, as did last year's Yorkshire T20 import David Miller. Jimmy Neesham, a player I had never heard of, took one of the best catches I've ever seen to remove Davids, running back towards the boundary fully fifty yards before diving full length and holding it just inside the rope.


Then came Guptill and after a sedate start where he struggled for timing, he found his range and ended up with nine fours and six sixes. With one ball to go, he needed three for a century and four were needed for a win. No problem - Gup simply smacked the ball through the offside field to the boundary to complete a memorable century.

To be fair he should have been caught by either Robin Peterson or Quintin de Kock from a massive skied shot a couple of overs before. For some reason Peterson called, rather than leaving it to the keeper, then failed to get his hands on it.

The innings showed why Guptill is such a fine player though and there must have been considerable interest in India, where such an innings is likely to attract IPL interest.

Be honest - we wouldn't say no for next summer's T20, would we? It's just a shame that I don't really see it happening.

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