Martin Guptill had no idea he was closing in on the world record for fastest fifty until umpire Richard Illingworth alerted him to the possibility. Guptill had been on course to break AB de Villiers' record - fifty in 16 balls - when he moved to 46 off 12 deliveries. However, a slower ball from Dushmantha Chameera, two good yorkers from Nuwan Kulasekara, and a mistimed cut off Sachithra Senanayake meant he had to instead settle for the New Zealand record. He hit his 50th run off the 17th delivery, bettering Brendon McCullum's 50 from 18 balls.
"I was trying to hit as many runs as I could, as quick as I could," Guptill said. "The plan was always to go out and be aggressive, and create a strike rate at the top of the innings. The first time I thought about the record was when the umpire said to me: 'You've got two balls to get it or something like that.' That's the first time it came to my head."
Guptill said New Zealand had exceeded their batting expectations in the past two innings, having travelled at more than nine runs an over in both of them. They hit 50 runs in 2.4 overs on Monday, and 100 in 6.3. The chase of 118 was done in 8.2 overs, with all wickets intact.
"We've got some targets as a batting unit that we want to get to, and we've probably exceeded those targets in the last two games," he said. "A hundred runs in 10 overs in the last couple of games is a bit extreme. It just happened with the way we've been batting in the first 10.
"Come the next game, we'll still look to have those targets. If we get past them, then we're on our way to a pretty good score. We'll go out and keep playing the way we do."
Guptill will now almost certainly finish the top ODI run-scorer for 2015. He currently has 1459 runs at an average of 56.11 for the year, with one innings to play in Nelson. Kane Williamson, who is second-placed on that list, is 142 runs adrift, and may still be sidelined for that Nelson match with his knee injury.
"Sometimes I am statistics-minded," Guptill said. "But it's more Ross Taylor telling me that I've got 100 runs to beat this person. I just go out there and try to do it. Ross is a bit stats driven."
Guptill opened the batting with Tom Latham, instead of Brendon McCullum, in this innings. McCullum had earlier hurt his back after diving to save a run at the boundary, then crashing into the advertising hoardings. Guptill said the blow had caused "stiffness" and that the New Zealand captain would be monitored over the next two days before a decision over his availability for the Nelson match was made.
Guptill was complimentary about Latham's innings of 17 from 21 balls. "Tommy and I both hit fours first ball. That's pretty good going when you're 14 or something in the first over. He was giving me the ones while I was going. If he had been going, I would have given him the ones. We worked pretty well as a partnership."