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Zero to hero: Guptill's magic moment that sent NZ into final

Author
NZ Herald,
Section
Sport,
Publish Date
Thursday, 11 July 2019, 9:29AM
Martin Guptill has had a wild 24 hours in the eyes of the public. (Photo / NZ Herald)
Martin Guptill has had a wild 24 hours in the eyes of the public. (Photo / NZ Herald)

It's been a crazy 30 hours for the Black Caps and New Zealand Cricket fans but what about Martin Guptill's two days in Manchester?

It's not exactly zero to hero for the Black Caps opener - since he made one in New Zealand's innings - but it was sweet redemption for Guptill who created a vital run out that helped lead New Zealand into a second straight final with a 18-run win over India.

A day earlier Guptill was becoming an online meme when TV cameras caught his sullen face looking out over the ground from the players' pavilion following another failure at the tournament. His one from 14 balls came on the back of four other single figure scores at the World Cup including two golden ducks.

But while his batting form has dipped his fielding has remained excellent and he pulled off some magic once again at Manchester.

With India needing 25 off 10 balls there was still major hope in them pulling off the chase with MS Dhoni at the crease - who had just brought up his 73rd ODI fifty.

The 2011 World Cup winner and former Indian captain had just hit a Lockie Ferguson short ball for six over point and looked as if all his 350 ODIs of experience was going to help lead his side across the line once again.

Dhoni pushed a slower short ball from Ferguson into space on the onside and scrambled back for two. With New Zealand wicketkeeper Tom Latham chasing the ball, Guptill got to it first and needed a direct hit - he did just that.

"Direct hit. It this the World Cup? Martin Guptill! Is this the final?' said Kiwi commentator Ian Smith.

The umpires went upstairs but it only took one replay from the video umpire to make the call. Dhoni run out Guptill 50 in his 297th and likely final ODI innings.

 

MS Dhoni is run out by Martin Guptill. Photo / Sky SportMS Dhoni is run out by Martin Guptill. Photo / Sky Sport

 

Black Caps captain Kane Williamson was full of praise for Guptill's fielding.

"He's probably the only man on the pitch that could perhaps create that run out. For him to do that and pull off what was a significant turning point in the match was special.

"We've seen Dhoni finish games from those similar positions on a number of occasions. To dismiss Dhoni in whatever fashion is extremely important, but for a direct hit run-out very, very similar to Jadeja's [run out of Ross Taylor] - I think was a big moment in the game."

As Dhoni left Old Trafford so did India's hopes of making the final. Six balls later the game was over. Ferguson bowled Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the final ball of the over before Jimmy Neesham secured the victory when Yuzvendra Chahal was caught behind with three balls remaining.

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