Martin Guptill smashed his way to a 48-ball 80 as New Zealand notched up a formidable 180 for five against Pakistan in the ICC World Twenty20 here on Tuesday.
Opting to bat, New Zealand rode on Guptill’s blazing knock to continue the team’s dream run in the mega-event.
The 29-year-old right-handed batsman struck 10 boundaries and three sixes.
Guptill added 62 runs for the first wicket with Kane Williamson (17) before the skipper was dismissed by Mohammad Irfan in the eighth over at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium.
Colin Munro fell cheaply for seven but the opener, who has a century in this format, found an able ally in Corey Anderson, with whom he added 52 runs in five overs to consolidate New Zealand’s position. Anderson contributed 21 off 14 balls, hitting three boundaries.
But the star of the evening was undoubtedly Guptill, who mixed caution with aggression beautifully and found the boundaries with considerable ease. He looked dangerous right from the start and frustrated the Pakistani bowlers.
And while Pakistan finally got Guptill when he was bowled by Mohammad Sami, Ross Taylor stood in their way and scored a quickfire 36 off 23 balls with the help of two boundaries and a six.