Blackcaps v Australia: Martin Guptill masterclass leads NZ to series victory

A Martin Guptill masterclass has seen the Blackcaps clinch the T20 series decider over Australia by seven wickets at Wellington's Sky Stadium. 

With pressure on the batsmen, they stood up and chased down what looked like a challenging 142 in no time.

Guptill was at his best, smashing the Aussie bowlers to all parts of the ground to see his side home and seal the series 3-2.

The visitors won the toss and immediately batted first. In the previous four encounters, the sides batting first came out on top.

The home side made the bold call to drop Kyle Jamieson in favour of Mark Chapman, who was brought in to provide more overs of spin bowling. 

The Blackcaps made a bright start with Josh Phillipe (2 off 8) - who was promoted to open - trapped in front of his wickets, off the bowling of Trent Boult (2/26).

Australian captain Aaron Finch (36 off 32) and wicketkeeper Matthew Wade (44 off 29) put together a dangerous 66-run partnership to have their side well-placed for a strong total. 

The New Zealand spinners really stifled the Australian batsmen and didn't let the visitors increase their run rate. 

Ish Sodhi - who was named Player of the Series for his 13 wickets - grabbed the big scalp of Finch to break the partnership and swing the momentum his side's way. 

The spinners took control, with Chapman (1/9 off two overs) and Mitch Santner (0/21 off four), and picked up crucial wickets to restrict Australia to a below-par 142/8. 

In reply, the Blackcaps made a change, with Devon Conway promoted to open in place of Tim Seifert and this alteration worked perfectly. 

Conway and Guptill combined for 106 runs to settle any nerves in the NZ batting order, and put themselves in the box seat for victory. 

After a slightly slow start, Guptill (71 off 46) was back to his brilliant best with a destructive innings. He smashed the tourists to all parts, with seven fours and four sixes entertaining the Wellington crowd.  

Australia got a glimmer of hope when express-fast bowler Riley Meredith picked up Conway and New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson in the space of two deliveries, putting fans on the edge of their seats.

But Glenn Phillips (34 off 16), put nerves at ease with a brilliant, destructive cameo. He played a devastating inning that included five fours and two sixes to guide his side home and to a series victory. 

Blackcaps 143/8 (Guptill 71, Conway 36, Phillips 34, Meredith 2/39) Australia 142/8 (Wade 44, Finch 36, Sodhi 3/24, Boult 2/26)

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