Guptill guides Derbyshire home

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Martin Guptill

New Zealand batsman Martin Guptill wasted little time in guiding Derbyshire to their paltry victory target of 110 against Gloucestershire

Martin Guptill made sure there were no slip-ups as Derbyshire put themselves in the promotion frame with a seven-wicket win over Gloucestershire in the LV= County Championship Division Two match at Derby.

The home side went into the fourth day as strong favourites to wrap up victory, needing 80 more runs with eight wickets in hand, and they lost only Wes Durston before crossing the line.

Guptill added an unbeaten 66 to his first-innings century and struck the winning boundary after just 53 minutes on the fourth morning.

Gloucestershire's only chance of turning the match on its head was to take early wickets to sow some seeds of doubt in the Derbyshire dressing room but, although there was still some life in the pitch, they managed only one.

Guptill and Durston had taken the game away from the visitors on the first day with a stand of 266 and they batted for another 13 overs to take Derbyshire well down the road to victory.

There were few alarms for the home supporters until Durston went for a big drive at Ian Saxelby in the eighth over of the day and was caught by Alex Gidman at first slip for 14.

Another wicket then might have caused some jitters and Saxelby nearly delivered it in the same over when Greg Smith got an edge that went just past second slip to the boundary.

Guptill had rediscovered his form in the first innings after a lean run and he snuffed out Gloucestershire's faint hopes with some glorious strokes against the pace bowlers.

Jon Lewis was pulled through midwicket before the New Zealander drove Saxelby down the ground for another four.

An on-drive in the same over brought him his 10th four - and his 50 from 63 balls - and he celebrated by pulling the next delivery to the ropes when Saxelby dropped short.

It was fitting that Guptill ended the game and he did it in style with a delicate late cut for four off Hamish Marshall to secure a 24-point victory which takes Derbyshire above Gloucestershire into third.

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