Blackcaps vs Sri Lanka: Martin Guptill spares thought for dad in matchwinning innings

As he celebrated his match-winning century against Sri Lanka on Thursday, Blackcaps batting star Martin Guptill spared a few seconds to acknowledge his toughest critic.

Crushing a boundary to bring up his 14th one-day international ton at Mount Maunganui's Bay Oval, the NZ opener gazed skywards in memory of late dad Peter Guptill, who passed away in 2017.

"He was one of my biggest supporters and one of my harshest critics as well," Guptill Jnr told media afterwards.

And while his 138-run heroics certainly set the platform for a resounding 45-run victory, the master batsman was sure his father would have found something to improve in his 139-ball knock.

After battling injury to return to the national side, Guptill admitted his performance was not all plain sailing, but knew that was very much the nature of the limited-overs game.

He built a 163-run combination with skipper Kane Williamson and shared 86 runs with Ross Taylor to set a target that the tourists would always struggle to match, even on a batter-friendly wicket.

"It's nice to spend some time out in the middle and create a couple of good partnerships," he said afterwards.

"We weren't off to a flying start by any means. I think we were a run a ball in the first 10 overs and just accumulated.

"We went through a period where we got a few bad balls and just put them away, but there were periods where they bowled well and we struggled to score off them.

"That's just the nature of one-day cricket, but we got through it and we picked up a big total."

The other key to the Blackcaps' 371 score was a late flurry from all-rounder Jimmy Neesham, another returning to the team after a lengthy absence.

While Guptill took man-of-the-match honours, Neesham wasn't far behind, smashing 47 runs off just 13 balls with the bat and then cracking Sri Lanka's stubborn top order with the ball.

"That was some pretty impressive hitting," marvelled Guptill. "He strikes the ball as clean anyone, and came out and bowled extremely well.

"I haven't seen him bowl like that in a long time, so nice to have him back and fighting fit." 

The second ODI between these two sides is scheduled for Saturday at the same venue, but Guptill expects similar conditions for the rematch.

"It's potentially going to be a little bit slower, but I don't think it will play too much different.

"We've just got to get out there and assiss it when we get there."