Martin Guptill blasted a sensational maiden first class double century to guide Derbyshire into a winning position on the second day of the LV= County Championship match with Gloucestershire at Bristol.
The 28-year-old New Zealander hit 227, off just 176 balls, with 29 fours and 11 sixes, reaching his double hundred with three successive maximums off Liam Norwell, as his side ran up 511 for eight in reply to the home side’s 275. Matt Taylor claimed five for 89.
Guptill said: “It was the sort of pitch where I thought if I tried to bat time I would get a nick so I decided to go for it. When you take that approach you need a bit of luck and I had some today.
“When the second new ball was taken I started trying to hit everything out of the park. It was harder, so it came off the bat better.
“It’s taken me quite a few games to hit a first class double hundred. I got stranded on 195 a few years ago for Auckland and it’s nice to have reached the landmark.”
On a day when Gloucestershire spilled six catches, Guptill received good support from Ben Slater (56), Billy Godleman (44) and Shiv Thakor, who contributed a sparkling 83 off 109 balls, with 13 fours and a six.
The tone of the day was set with the first ball as Derbyshire resumed on 24 without loss. Slater drove at a wide one from James Fuller and saw a straightforward chance spilled by Geraint Jones at first slip.
It was a day to forget for the Gloucestershire skipper, who later gave Guptill a life on 57 from another routine slip chance off Liam Norwell.
Godleman was also dropped before falling with the score on 88 in the 27th over, adjudged caught behind off Norwell.
It was 118 for one at lunch, Slater having reached his half-century off 114 balls, with 8 fours, and Guptill on 17. They took the total to 162 before Slater, given another life on 55, was held by Chris Dent in the slips off Norwell.
Guptill pulled Norwell for six and after his reprieve set about the Gloucestershire attack with some savagely-struck boundaries. He lost two more partners as Wayne Madsen played on to Taylor and Wes Durston was caught by Jones, also off the young left-arm seamer.
The Kiwi Test player and one-day international was undeterred, reaching three figures off 101 balls with a glorious straight drive for four off Craig Miles On 101 he was dropped again by Will Tavare at point before tea was taken at 270 for four.
Thakor was on 22 and in the final session he began to match Guptill’s stroke-play, despite overcast conditions. The former Leicestershire player moved to 50 off 89 deliveries, with 6 fours and a six, just after Guptill had launched Kieran Noema-Barnett for a huge six over long-on.
By the time the second new ball was taken at 360 for four, Guptill had reached 150 off 147 balls, with 23 fours and 4 sixes, and together with Thakor had added 90 in the previous ten overs.
The carnage continued until Thakor got a thin edge to Taylor and was caught behind. The next ball was an inswinger that pinned Alex Hughes lbw and the one after that beat the outside edge of Harvey Hosein’s bat.
It was belated reward for Taylor, who had bowled without much luck. But even he came in for punishment as the irrepressible Guptill starting lofting the ball over the ropes at will to reach 200 off 165 balls.
An unforgettable exhibition came to an end when he miscued a Taylor full toss to extra cover, giving the bowler his fifth wicket.
By the close Derbyshire led by 236, having scored 487 runs in the day, 241 of them in the final session.