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Martin Guptill slams 35-ball hundred in Worcestershire blitz

Martin Guptill goes on the attack Getty Images

Worcestershire 189 for 1 (Guptill 102, Clarke 61*) beat Northamptonshire 187 for 9 (Levi 39, Brown 3-31) by nine wickets
Scorecard

Martin Guptill struck 102 from only 38 balls as Worcestershire demolished Northamptonshire at Wantage Road, chasing 188 to win by nine wickets with 6.5 overs to spare.

Guptill's fourth domestic T20 century - from 35 balls, joint-fourth fastest of all time - and Joe Clarke's 61 not out from 33 balls made mincemeat of the target to give Worcestershire their fifth victory in this season's Vitality Blast.

For Northants, who had already conceded a 37-ball hundred from Notts' Dan Christian earlier this season, it was more torment. "I thought our score was fairly competitive, the pitch was sticking a little, the boundaries were a little bigger, the outfield was a little slower," said Northants' coach David Ripley. "But it was carnage really. To concede two 30-odd ball hundreds, doesn't happen very often and you have to say well played but we have to find a way to be more competitive."

Northants were utterly humiliated as Clarke and Guptill smashed 97 from the Powerplay and 162 from 10 overs. Guptill opened up in Richard Gleeson's second over that cost 22 with a flick over midwicket for six, two slaps down the ground for four and a flick wide of short-fine leg. Rory Kleinveldt replaced Gleeson and he also disappeared for 22 as Guptill raised fifty in 20 balls.

Guptill swept Graeme White's left-arm spin straight to deep-backward square leg, only for Seekkuge Prasanna to step over the boundary. A second slog-sweep went comfortably over deep midwicket and a straight drive found four more as White's first over was taken for 19.

Prasanna was lifted over long-on for six and wide of long-off for four to go to 90 before Kyle Coetzer was straight driven for four and flicked over midwicket for six to raise Guptill's century. Trying to lift Gleeson over mid-on, he was well held by Josh Cobb.

Clarke actually began the carnage. He smeared flat sixes over midwicket and point before classically steering two fours through the covers off Prasanna, who leaked 19 from the 5th over. A straight six off Coetzer raised his first fifty in this season's Blast in 23-balls before Travis Head struck the winning six.

Northants never built up any momentum with the bat having been sent in but their 187 for 9 was a decent effort, including 62 from the final five overs.

Richard Levi gave the innings a steady start. He flicked Luke Wood over midwicket for his first boundary, lifted the next over extra-cover before pulling two sixes over square leg as 20 came from the third over of the game. He drove Brett D'Oliveria delightfully past extra-cover for his third boundary and lifted him into the Wilson Stand for his third six but trying to cut Moeen Ali's second ball, slapped it straight to point to fall for 39.

Ben Duckett also fell when set for further damage. He turned Archie Carter past short-fine leg for his opening boundary before flicking Ed Barnard twice to the deep-backward square fence. He swung Pat Brown over long-on for six to reach 25 in the final over of the Powerplay before trying to repeat the trick and being caught at mid-off.

Alex Wakely again looked in good touch and reached 28 from 20 balls before slapped a catch back to Ed Barnard who took an incredible return catch above his left shoulder and at 118 fo 5 in the 15th over, Northants were flagging.

But Steven Crook played a much-needed cameo. He whacked a maximum just over the head of deep midwicket and pulled a second much further over the same region. He thrashed Moeen past extra-cover for four before hammering the final ball of his spell for four more over the bowler's head.

A fourth-six was top-edged over long leg before a third boundary whistled past short-third man off an outside edge but leaning out to drive a very wide delivery from Barnard, he got a thin edge through to Ben Cox to fall for 33.

Kleinveldt picked up the task and swung Barnard's final over for boundaries either side of deep cover and a sweetly-struck six over long-off but he was cleaned up by Wood in the penultimate over.