Martin Guptill inspires New Zealand to a 16-run victory against Scotland

Martin Guptill smacked a fantastic 93 from 56 balls, which included 7 sixes

Martin Guptill inspires New Zealand to a 16-run victory against Scotland PHOTO COURTESY: ICC

Martin Guptill inspired New Zealand to a crucial victory against Scotland as the battle for the semifinals position heats up.

Batting first, New Zealand scored 172/5 with Martin Guptill leading the charge. In reply, Scotland fought hard but remained 16 runs short which handed the Kiwis only their second victory of the tournament.

The opener battled with the Scottish bowlers and the tough conditions to get to his 93-runs from 56 deliveries, falling short of what would have been only the second century of the tournament. Guptill made his runs off 56 balls with six fours and seven sixes.

The 35-year-old opener put on 105 for the fourth wicket with Glenn Phillips as the Black Caps look to stay on course for a semifinal spot.

Despite taking two wickets in two balls, Wheal conceded 40 runs off his four overs.

New Zealand, who earned their first points of the tournament with an eight-wicket mauling of India last time out, hit 35 from the first four overs, 24 of those off Wheal.

But Safyaan Sharif then sent back Daryl Mitchell for 13 and, four balls later claimed the key wicket of skipper Kane Williamson for naught.

At the midway point, the Black Caps were 70-3 before Guptill completed his 18th T20 half-century off 35 balls with another six, his 150th in the format - most by any batter.

Sharif was the pick of the bowlers for Scotland with figures of 2-28.

In return, Scotland showed great resistance and resilience but ultimately fell short on the big stage. The Scottish fell 16 runs short of the 173-run target posted earlier by New Zealand.

Skipper Kyle Coetzer (17) was the first one to walk as he was trapped by Trent Boult, leading him to chip the ball to mid-on and in the safe hands of Tim Southee.

Pacer Southee remained in action as he proceeded to take another catch, this time of George Munsey for 22. He then came into the attack to remove Matthew Cross who had hit five boundaries earlier off of Adam Milne in an over.

Mitchell Santner kept things tight with his precise spin bowling as he went wicketless but only leaked 23 runs from his four overs.

Trying to keep up with the run-rate, Scotland lost wickets of Richie Berrington and Calum MacLeod in quick succession which made the chase a near-impossible task.

Despite the equation favoring New Zealand, Michael Leask fought back with an unbeaten 42 off of 20 deliveries which featured 2 boundaries and 2 maximums. However, his efforts were all in vain.

Ish Sodhi remained consistent with the wickets, taking two, but ended up conceding 42 runs whereas Trent Boult picked up 2 wickets while Tim Southee only managed one.