Martin Guptill pummelled Sri Lanka into submission with his 93 off 30 balls as New Zealand took just 8.2 overs to claim the second one-day international by 10 wickets in Christchurch on Monday.
Guptill went within a whisker of breaking the world record for the fastest ODI 50 and was close to scoring one of the fastest centuries when New Zealand wrapped up the game.
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum said Guptill was “superb” while Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews described his side’s performance as “embarrassing” and “pathetic”.
After being dropped off the first ball he faced, Guptill went on the warpath with a brutal assault that included nine fours and eight sixes.
For Sri Lanka, it was a humiliating performance after they expressed a desire to gain some pride from being thrashed in the first ODI by seven wickets when New Zealand knocked off the 189-run target with 29 overs to spare.
Instead of getting better they went backwards, being dismissed for 117 in 27.4 overs.
“It was embarrassing. Once again a pathetic display by the whole batting unit,” Mathews said.
“We just couldn’t handle it. It didn’t swing or seam or bounce. It was just bad shot selection.”
With a small target and after his reprieve, Guptill set about demolishing the Sri Lanka attack.
He took 14 off one over by Nuwan Kulasekera and 26 off the next over from Dushmantha Chameera as he raced to 46 from 12 deliveries.
His momentum was briefly arrested by some well-placed Kulasekera yorkers and it took another five balls for Guptill to reach his 50, one behind the world record of 16 held by South African AB de Villiers.
“I got a couple of yorkers and couldn’t quite get it. But I’ll take the not out and a win than the fastest 50 and getting out,” he said.
Guptill did, however, break the New Zealand record for the fastest 50, going one better than McCullum’s best.
‘Good for batting’
McCullum did not open the New Zealand innings after injuring himself when he crashed into the fence while trying to cut off a boundary.
Instead, Tom Latham took up the opening duties and hit the winning run to be unbeaten on 17 from 20 balls while Guptill faced 30 for his 93 not out. De Villiers also holds the record for the fastest ODI century, achieving the target in 31 balls in the same innings that he set the fastest 50 record against the West Indies in Johannesburg in January.
Monday’s entire game took exactly 36 overs for New Zealand to go 2-0 up in the five-match series.
When he won the toss and elected to bat, Sri Lanka’s Mathews described the pitch as “good for batting”. But his batsmen were unable to handle Matt Henry, New Zealand’s chief destroyer in the first match who again took four wickets.
He struck first in the fourth over when Tillakaratne Dilshan was caught at first slip by Ross Taylor for seven, and the wickets tumbled regularly from there.
Sri Lanka still looked capable of posting a respectable score when they reached 81-5 in the 18th over but they then lost three wickets for no runs to be 81-8.
Kulasekara, who struggled at the start of his innings when he was dropped twice and won an appeal against an lbw decision, went on to top-score for Sri Lanka with 19.
For New Zealand, Henry took four for 33 and Mitchell McClenaghan three for 32.