Martin Guptill ran roughshod over Australian bowlers in the 2nd T20I on Thursday as he smashed 97 off 50 deliveries to power his team to a mammoth 219/7 in Dunedin. Opener Guptill belted six fours and eight sixes during his brutal assault entertaining the capacity crowd with captain Kane Williamson (53) and allrounder James Neesham (45* off 16) adding fireworks of their own in a dominating display with the bat.

During his innings, Guptill surpassed India opener Rohit Sharma in the list for the most sixes in T20Is. Guptill has now 132 sixes from 96 T20Is which is the most by any batsman in the format till date and five more than the previous record-holder Rohit who has 127 such hits from 108 matches.

Eoin Morgan of England is next in the list with 113 sixes from 97 matches while Colin Munro (107) and Chris Gayle (105) complete the top-five. What is astonishing is the fact that Gayle has played just 58 matches and there are reports that the 41-year-old veteran is set for a comeback almost two years after he last played a T20I f0r West Indies.

Meanwhile, for Guptill, the knock meant he has left behind a dry spell that stretched back to November 2019 when he last passed 50 in a T20I. Since then, he had gone 12 innings without hitting a half-century but has made return in time with the T20 World Cup set to be played later this year.

He reached his fifty in 27 deliveries and shifted the gears further afterwards. However, he holed out to Marcus Stoinis off Daniel Sams with just three runs required to reach three-figures.

“My job doesn’t change, I just went out and tried to do the best I could and fortunately it came off,” Guptill told Spark Sport. The 34-year-old has now 2718 runs from 92 innings with two centuries and 16 half-centuries.