Martin Guptill hit his way into the record books this morning. Just not in the way he wanted.

The opening batsman became the first New Zealander to be dismissed by hitting his own wicket in any Cricket World Cup tournament, dating back as far as 1975.

Not that he meant to.

Guptill swiveled to play a hook shot against South African seamer Andile Phehlukwayo in the 15th over. He made contact with the ball before doing the full 360-degree turn — so far, so good — before slipping and feeling his right foot hit something else altogether.

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As his partner Kane Williamson came running down the wicket for a single, and South African fielder Lungi Ngidi went chasing the ball, something strange was happening.

Guptill was already out.

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Delighted South Africa players saw that one of the bails — at times not so easy to dislodge in this tournament — had left the top of Guptill's middle and leg stumps. He was out for 35.

It was a slice of luck for the South Africans in their must-win encounter, as Guptill's dismissal triggered a batting collapse from 72-1 to 80-4.

But it's not all bad news for Guptill. He still holds the record for the highest score at the World Cup with 237 not out in the 2015 quarterfinals against West Indies, with some genuine big-hitting of his own.

And the day had a happy ending for New Zealand, which sealed a four-wicket win with three balls to spare.