Images from the T20 World Cup Super 12s match between New Zealand and Scotland, in Dubai, on Wednesday.
Martin Guptill was at his devastating best, clobbering 6 fours and 7 sixes in a power-packed 93 off 56 balls, as New Zealand beat Scotland by 16 runs in the T20 World Cup Super 12s match, in Dubai, on Wednesday.
The dashing opener, in the process, registered the second-highest score of the tournament thus far as New Zealand registered their second win in three matches.
Asked to bat first, New Zealand put up 172 for 5. In reply, Michael Leask blazed away to an unbeaten 42 off 20 balls, but his effort was not enough for the Scots, who could muster only 156 for 5 in their 20 overs.
Earlier, Safyaan Sharif's double-wicket over gave Scotland early hope after New Zealand got off to a flying start, but Guptill quickly snuffed a fightback.
New Zealand began strongly, scoring 13 runs in the first over from Brad Wheal, with Guptill hitting boundaries with ease on the off-side.
Alasdair Evans, one of two changes in Scotland's team, was taken for back-to-back fours from widish deliveries.
Needing 24 in this match to get to 3,000 runs in T20 internationals, Guptill reached the milestone in some style, targetting the shorter leg-side boundary for the first six of the day.
The bulk of New Zealand's Powerplay score of 52 for 2 was down to him, even as Sharif kept the batters quiet in the Powerplay with his back-of-a-length deliveries and two wickets.
He got the breakthrough when he had Glenn Mitchell lbw, the decision being upheld on review.
In the same over, Kane Williamson, who was denied the singles behind square to third that he so likes, knicked one going down leg to the wicketkeeper and was out without scoring.
After his first two overs, Sharif had incredible figures of 2 for 2.
Mark Watt struck with the first ball of spin, having Devon Conway caught behind trying to reverse-sweep the left-arm spinner. It marked the start of a period of four overs of spin that went for just 18 runs.
However, the next five overs went for 50 runs. Guptill and Glenn Phillips stepped on the accelerator, both releasing the pressure with a couple of sixes on the leg side.
Guptill's fifty came off just 35 balls, with another massive slog sent into the stands. That was his 150th six in T20Is.
He survived a couple of dropped catches, with the fielder in the deep struggling to keep sight of the ball in the sun, and piled on the runs. Most of his big hits soared over midwicket or the square-leg boundary. Even Sharif was dispatched for two sixes on his return.
He was finally caught at long-on off the penultimate over from an exhausted shot. Scotland did well at the death to concede just 22 runs in the last three overs.
A bright spark for Scotland was Watt, who kept the marauding Guptill quiet and finished with an incredible 1 for 13.
Skipper Kyle Coetzer (17) started the proceedings for Scotland in earnest, hitting New Zealand's lead pacer Trent Boult for fours on either side of the wicket.
Coetzer drove Tim Southee through cover-point for a boundary and then played a magnificent square drive off the backfoot against Boult, who had his man two deliveries later when he deceived the batter with a slow off-cutter.
Two deliveries later, George Munsey (22) played one of the day's best shots when he hit Boult through the line on the on-side.
After two quiet overs, Matthew Cross (27) hit Adam Milne for five fours on the trot as Scotland scored 48 runs in the Powerplay.
Munsey smashed Ish Sodhi for two sixes, but in trying to hit one too many, he was out soon, thanks to a fine running catch by a sliding Southee, who came back to knock Cross's stumps and leave Scotland reduced to 76 for 3 as the 12th over approached.
From there, Scotland’s innings could not gather the momentum required to mount a challenge to their fancied opponents, despite Leask's lusty hits.
With 67 needed from the final 26 balls, Leask swung hard for 42 not out off just 20 balls, but he had been left with too much to do.