Martin Guptill whetted the appetite of Worcestershire Rapids supporters for later in the summer with an explosive start to New Zealand’s ICC World Cup campaign.
The Rapids 2019 overseas Vitality Blast player smashed an unbeaten 73 off just 51 balls as the Black Caps romped to a 10 wicket win over Sri Lanka in Cardiff today.
Guptill, who is available for 11 group games and the knockout stages of the Blast, hit two sixes and eight fours as New Zealand achieved a 137 target in just 16.1 overs.
He showed his intent from the start by picking up two boundaries in the opening over from Lasith Malinga via a lofted extra cover drive and pull shot.
Guptill brought up his half century – off 39 balls – in spectacular style with a six off Isuru Udana over long on and repeated the stroke against Jeevan Mendis.
It was a repeat of the kind of form that brought Guptill the fastest domestic century of last summer off 35 balls in a Blast match for the Rapids away to Northamptonshire Steelbacks.
Colin Munro, the Rapids T20 overseas player in 2014 and 2015, ended unbeaten on 58 from 47 balls.
Earlier two more ex Worcestershire players, man of the match Matt Henry (3-29) and Mitchell Santner (1-5) had been amongst the wickets as Sri Lanka were dismissed for 136 in 29.2 overs.
*A reminder that Rapids Season Passes for 2019, incorporating all seven home group games, are available for just £99.