New Zealand batsman Martin Guptill has drawn gasps from the crowd after he smashed a six onto the roof of a stand at Eden Park during the first ODI against Australia on Wednesday afternoon.
Martin Guptill's massive six
New Zealand batsman Martin Guptill smashes a massive six onto the roof at Eden Park during the first ODI against Australia on Wednesday afternoon.
But Australia are favourites to draw first blood in the opening match of the Chappell-Hadlee series at Eden Park after their bowlers recovered from an early Kiwi blitz.
Sent in somewhat surprisingly by Steve Smith, the Black Caps appeared destined for a total well in excess of 350 but were instead limited to 8/307.
It will take some chasing but Australia amassed similar totals on larger grounds at home against India last month.
Guptill made a brutal 90 and was well supported by Henry Nicholls, who hit 61 off 67 balls, while captain Brendon McCullum smashed a whirlwind 44 off 29 balls at the top of the innings. But the Kiwis may live to rue the failure of any of that trio to reach triple figures.
The New Zealand innings was hobbled by the dismissal of Guptill, run out by a direct hit from Glenn Maxwell in the 25th over.
So well did Australia bowl in the second half of the innings, they limited the Black Caps to a disappointing 125 in the final 25 overs.
Australia can thank the underrated John Hastings for their fightback. Bowling just short of a good length, the burly Victorian quick returned a miserly second spell, conceding just 12 runs from five overs to finish with the tidy figures of 1-39.
Mitchell Marsh was also impressive, taking the wickets of Nicholls and Grant Elliott in his 2-35 from seven overs.
Guptill and McCullum whipped the Eden Park crowd into a frenzy with some explosive early hitting.
The Auckland venue has one of the shortest straight boundaries in world cricket, but Guptill's hit off Kane Richardson would have cleared the pickets on every ground.
The Kiwi opener's hit was measured at 113 metres by local TV, though it would have been considerably longer had the roof of the ASB Stand at the northern end not been in the way. Play was delayed for several minutes as a replacement ball was sought.
The six was part of a five-ball blitzkrieg by Guptill and McCullum which reaped 26 runs, 20 of which came off the final four balls of the preceding over from Josh Hazlewood.
Guptill's massive strike brought back memories of Andre Russell's six off the bowling of Shane Watson during a Sydney Thunder training session which cleared the roof of Spotless Stadium. The ball landed in the car park.
Guptill lands a 113 metre six on the roof of Eden park - https://t.co/vWDqCdMFEF— The Roar (@TheRoarSports) February 3, 2016