Dubai: Veteran opener Martin Guptill’s excellent 93 helped New Zealand beat Scotland by 16 runs in the 32nd match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup here on Wednesday.
Guptill, who was going through a rough patch before the match, smashed 7 sixes and 6 fours during his 56-ball stay in the middle. After putting 172/5 in 20 overs, the Black Caps restricted Scotland to 156/5 as their bowlers’ experience triumphed over an inspirational Scotland performance.
Michael Leask played some brilliant shots but failed to guide his team home. He remained unbeaten on 42. Seamer Trent Boult and spinner Ish Sodhi scalped two wickets each for New Zealand.
Earlier, despite a top-order failure, New Zealand posted a good total of 172, thanks to Guptill.
Meanwhile, Guptill also became just the second batsman in T20I history to breach the 3000-run mark. He reached the milestone after Indian skipper, Virat Kohli, who currently has 3225 runs in 92 matches. The Kiwi opener secured the feat in 105 matches while opening for Black Caps, scoring at an average of 32.30 with a good strike rate of 136.29.
Guptill held one end as wickets fell at the other on regular intervals in the first ten overs, while Glenn Phillips (33) helped stabilise the innings alongside Guptill.
Among bowlers, Safyaan Sharif and Bradley Wheal picked two wickets each but Mark Watt bowled a brilliant spell, conceding only 13 runs in four overs while picking the wicket of Devon Conway.
Brief scores; New Zealand: 172/5 in 20 overs (Martin Guptill 93, Glenn Phillips 33, Sharif 2-28) vs Scotland: 156/5 (Michael Leask 42*, Matthew Cross 27, Trent Boult 2-29, Ish Sodhi 2-42).