Martin Guptill took the Northamptonshire bowlers on a merry ride around Wantage Road on Friday. The New Zealand batsman slammed 102 off 38 balls as his side Worcestershire chased down a target of 188 with nine wickets and a ball under seven overs to spare. His is the fourth fastest century the history of T20 cricket.
Guptill and his opening partner Joe Clarke smashed 97 in the powerplay and 162 in the first 10 overs. “I thought our score was fairly competitive, the pitch was sticking a little, the boundaries were a little bigger, the outfield was a little slower,” Northamptonshire’s coach David Ripley is quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo, “But it was carnage really. To concede two 30-odd ball hundreds, doesn’t happen very often and you have to say well played but we have to find a way to be more competitive.”
It was only off the first ball of the 11th over that Northamptonshire lost their first, and only, wicket. But even after Clarke was dismissed, Guptill continued along his own merry way and raced to a century off 38 balls. Australia’s Travis Head was with him in the middle and he had made 20 off 9 balls by the end of the match.