Black Caps opener Martin Guptill is demanding more of himself and his teammates after New Zealand stumbled in a depressingly familiar fashion to 260 all out on the first day of the second cricket Test against the West Indies in Kingston.
Chris Gayle and Keiran Powell had little difficulty in seeing the Windies through to 11 without loss at stumps, leaving New Zealand facing the prospect of a repeat of their first Test nine-wicket loss.
Guptill has found a rich vein of form recently, with innings 97 and 67 from the first Test in Antigua. He again anchored the New Zealand innings on Monday with a 174-ball 71 which included an invaluable 103-run stand with captain Ross Taylor for the third wicket.
Taylor fell on 60, trying to cut Tino Best but succeeding only in sending a thick edge through to wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin, and it was all downhill from then on for the Black Caps as they lost their last seven wickets for just 99 runs.
Guptill was run out with the score on 170, punished for a sluggish start by the accurate arm of Best after Kruger van Wyk called him through for a quick single.
While his current form is pleasing as far as it goes, Guptill says he’s only too aware of the need to kick on.
“It’s always nice to score a few runs, but I want more than that. Sixties, seventies and nineties aren’t good enough,” he said afterwards.
“If we want to perform well as a team going forward, we need hundreds.”
It’s been frustrating falling short of pushing on to post his third Test century, Guptill says, but he’s confident the landmark scores will come with patience.
“That’s the nature of cricket – you lose concentration for one ball and that’s your downfall.”