Martin Guptill finds form against Aussies, spearheads mammoth Black Caps total in Dunedin

Black Caps opener Martin Guptill has reminded critics what he is capable of in Dunedin this afternoon as part of a destructive Twenty20 innings for the home side against Australia.

After a poor domestic season and a duck in the first T20, questions were raised over whether Guptill would be selected for today's match at University Oval.

However, the 34-year-old batsman repaid the faithful with a superb innings of 97 from 50 balls to spearhead the Black Caps' incredible innings of 219-7.

The Black Caps lost the toss and were sent in to bat by the Australians - a move that locked promising for the visitors after the early dismissal of Tim Seifert in the fourth over for just three runs.

However, Guptill went to work in chaotic fashion, smashing four sixes on his way to a 27-ball 50 with captain Kane Williamson playing a supporting role at the other end.

He wasn't done though, dispatching any Australian bowler sent in to challenge him as he powered his into the 90s.

Williamson soon brought up a half-century of his own off 32 deliveries, meaning their partnership had reached 131 runs off 68 balls.

Two balls later and the huge partnership was undone though with Guptill cruelly dismissed on 97 after his drive to long off didn't get enough distance and he was caught by Marcus Stoinis.

That didn't stop the fireworks though with Jimmy Neesham coming to the crease and blasting the final two balls of the over - and first two of his innings - for sixes.

In the following over, Neesham added a third six off his third ball before things finally calmed down with Williamson's dismissal.

The Black Caps skipper was beaten by a superb wrong un from Zampa, finishing with 53 runs from 35 balls.

The Black Caps bats fizzled after that with Glenn Phillips, Devon Conway and Mitchell Santner dismissed for eight, two and a duck, respectively.

Neesham added a fourth six at the other end before a wide in the final over saw the Black Caps hit 200 runs and rubbed salt into the wound with a fifth and sixth maximum in the final over to tie a Black Caps record.

The Black Caps finished with 10 fours and 18 sixes as a team - their sixes total tied with their T20 record which they set in 2018 against Australia in Auckland.

Unlike that match at Eden Park though, they'll be hoping to go on to win today's contest with Australia chasing 220 to tie the series.