Guptill's century helps Kiwis trounce Ireland | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Guptill's century helps Kiwis trounce Ireland

cricket Updated: Feb 13, 2011 00:43 IST
Abhijeet Kulkarni
Abhijeet Kulkarni
Hindustan Times
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The opening position in the New Zealand one-day side had become a game of musical chairs with the team using four different players in the last 13 games to start the proceedings at the top of the order.

The changes came out of desperation as the team was struggling to stitch together a victory and the team think tank was unsure of whether to go with the firepower of Brendon McCullum and Jesse Ryder at the top or opt for a more steadier option.

It seems the Kiwis have finally found a solution after the newly appointed coach, John Wright, decided to put faith in the conventional option of Martin Guptill after watching him bat in the second Test against Pakistan earlier this month.

The decision before the six match one-day series against Pakistan had not gone down well with the country's most successful opening combination of Brendon McCullum and Jesse Ryder with the former even expressing his reservations over the decision in public.

But Guptill (130), who was never a certainty in the New Zealand one-day side in the past, first cemented his place by virtue of being the highest scorer in the series and put an end to the argument about his effectiveness at the top of the order on Saturday with almost a run-a-ball century in the team's first warm up match against Ireland ahead of the World Cup.

The 24-year-old paced his innings to perfection by first ensuring that there was no further damage following the departure of McCullum in the third over and then joined the big hitters in some firework once the foundation was laid.

Guptill's knock also allowed the big hitters in the New Zealand middle order to have a ball in the park as they took the team total beyond the 300 run mark.

Brief Score: New Zealand 311 for 6 (Guptill 130, Ryder 48, Franklin 49; Johnson 2/62)