DUBAI: Riding on a flurry of monstrous sixes, opener Martin Guptill blazed away to a 56-ball 93 and powered New Zealand to 172 for five against Scotland in the ICC T20 World Cup here on Wednesday.
In all, Guptill smashed seven sixes and six fours as New Zealand set Scotland a stiff target at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Most of his big hits were directed towards the mid-wicket region and by the time he was done with his blistering knock, Guptill was overcome with exhaustion in the extreme heat.
One of New Zealand's prolific run-scorers over many years, Guptill added 105 runs for the fourth wicket with Glenn Phillips (33) to put his team in a commanding position.
Asked to bat first, New Zealand were off to a brisk start with Guptill leading the way in the company of Daryl Mitchell.
As many as 13 runs came in the match's very first over bowled by Bradley Wheal (2/40), but Safyaan Sharif (2/28) made an excellent start in the next over, giving away just one run.
Playing this game in place of an injured Josh Davey, Alasdair Evans was smashed for two successive boundaries by Guptill through the point region, the batter cutting with utter disdain on both occasions.
Mitchell too got himself a boundary against Bradley Wheal but the opener was trapped in front of the wicket by Sharif in the fifth over.
The on-field umpire's decision was challenged, albeit unsuccessfully, by the batter.
In the middle of the fine first spell, seamer Sharif got the big wicket of New Zealand captain Kane Williamson four balls later, as a diving Matthew Cross completed a good catch behind the stumps after the batter failed to connect properly while playing it down the leg side.
Unperturbed by the double blows, Guptill smashed Evans for a maximum over backward square leg fence, as the Kiwis collected a productive 52 runs in the power play, with 16 of them coming in the sixth over.
With that biggie, Guptill became only the second batter after Indian captain Virat Kohli to cross 3000 runs in T20 Internationals.
Meanwhile, Scotland enjoyed another success right after spin was introduced for the first time, when slow left-armer Mark Watt castled Devon Conway with his very first ball in the seventh over.
Only 18 runs came between the 6th and 10 over as Scotland tightened things.
However, the Scots had no answer to the onslaught launched on them by Guptill, who hammered their best bowler Sharif for two sixes.
There was also a six that travelled 102m, the second biggest in the Super 12 stage.
However, the innings lost a bit of momentum after his dismissal.