By Niall Anderson at Lord's
After putting down two tough chances in the field, Martin Guptill took what could be the catch of the World Cup to dismiss Australian batting maestro Steve Smith at Lord's.
With Australia at 46-2, Smith pulled a short delivery off Black Caps fast bowler Lockie Ferguson but Guptill, fielding at leg gully, leapt to his left, incredibly plucking the ball out of the air with one hand.
Guptill had earlier dropped an extremely tough chance at short cover off the bat of Australian skipper Aaron Finch (in the second over). He also gave Usman Khawaja a life when putting down a much easier catch low down at second slip - off only the second ball he faced.
He made no mistake with a stunning third effort.
Smith departed for five and the Aussies were eventually restricted to 243-9 in 50 overs, after a historic World Cup hat-trick from Trent Boult.
It wasn't enough for victory as the Black Caps batting performance left plenty to be desired in an 86-run defeat, but captain Kane Williamson was pleased with Guptill's catch - and the fact that his leg gully plan to dismiss Smith worked, albeit in an unexpected way.
"It was an epic catch. He had a couple of practices with some tough ones," joked Williamson.
"It certainly took something pretty special – despite the plan – to hang on to that catch. One of the best catches you'll ever see."
Williamson indicated that perhaps he was expecting Guptill to be called into action for a looping catch at leg gully, off a Ferguson short ball, rather than a full-blooded pull. But in the end, the result was all the same for the skipper.
"We've done it a few times before. Obviously Steve's a world-class player, we were trying to be a bit creative.
"Whether he was there for the pull shot, I can't quite reveal that," Williamson laughed.
"But he was there was something in the air, so that was nice, and he held onto it beautifully."
Guptill's catch wasn't the only impressive effort from the Kiwis - with Jimmy Neesham grabbing an excellent left-handed effort off his own bowling to dismiss Glenn Maxwell for one.
The Alternative Commentary Collective are podcasting their way through the World Cup. Known for their unconventional sports analysis and off-kilter banter, the ACC have come to ask the tough questions. Here's the latest episode of 'The Agenda':
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT