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New Zealand close out series with stunning 9-wicket win; Colin Munro outraces Martin Guptill for record score

Martin Guptill brought up fifty in 19 balls, the fastest T20 half century by a Kiwi, a record broken just 15 minutes later by Colin Munro

Colin Munro acknowledges the crowd after his record innings

New Zealand won the 2nd T20I against Sri Lanka at Eden Park, Auckland, on the back of yet another exhibition of attacking batting from the Kiwi batsmen. After Martin Guptill brought up his fifty in 19 balls to put up the fastest T20 half century by a Kiwi, his record was broken just 15 minutes later as Colin Munro reached his in 14 balls.

Sri Lanka, who have more or less held on to the label of top-ranked T20I side since the 2012 World Cup triumph, have been knocked off their perch as a result of this modest tour. Over the month-long tour which ended with Sunday’s match, Sri Lanka have managed to win only once and have been beaten seven times.

Australia, West Indies and England are hot on Sri Lanka’s heels in the T20 rankings, and one of them will go into the T20 World Cup later this year as the top-ranked country.

Sri Lanka’s innings was a typical one-man show, as Angelo Mathews’ 81*, his best T20 score, took Lanka to a respectable score of 142/8 in their 20 overs. Mathews scored 58% of Sri Lanka’s score, as Tillakaratne Dilshan was the only other player from his side who managed to reach double figures.

The best Kiwi bowling figures on the day belonged to Grant Elliot, who continued to make a successful return to the national side after a long injury layoff. His 4/22 accounted for Dilshan and the tail which tried to give the score a final flourish.

Munro and Guptill knocks blow Lanka away

The Kiwi innings that followed was utter madness, as the target was achieved at a run rate of 14.7, with 10 overs to spare. First, it was Guptill who decided to finish the series with a final onslaught. Guptill, whose fifty came in 19 balls, finished with 63 off 25 balls. His innings, which was the record for the quickest individual Kiwi half century in T20s for 3 overs, consisted of five sixes.

He was a likely contender for Man of the Match award for dictating the pace of the frenetic chase, but all doubts were put to rest when his record was broken and his blitzkrieg overshadowed by the Colin Munro-show that followed his dismissal. 

Coming in at No. 3, Munro unleashed a 14-ball fifty to seal a 9-wicket win with 10 overs to spare, smashing seven sixes.

The fastest fifty in all T20 history belongs to Yuvraj Singh’s 12-ball feat for India. Munro’s 14-ball feat on Sunday ranks second in T20I history just behind Yuvraj’s. Marcus Trescothick is the only other batsman who has scored a faster fifty in a domestic T20 match – in 13 balls.

Brief Scores – NZ 147/1 in 10 overs (Guptill 63(25), Munro 50*(14), Williamson 32*(21)) beat SL 142/8 in 20 overs (Mathews 81*(49), Dilshan 28*(26); Elliot 4/22) by 9 wickets

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