Brendon McCullum became just the second player to hit a Twenty20 International century as he smashed an incredible 116 runs from just 56 balls to help New Zealand reach 214-6 against Australia at the AMI Stadium.
McCullum was in tremendous form as he joined Chris Gayle as the only men in Twenty20 International cricket to score centuries in the shortest format of the game. His 116 from 56 balls was just one run short of Gayle’s record of 117.
McCullum came into the game after suffering a disappointing evening against the Aussies in Wellington on Friday night scoring just 2 runs but he took his frustrations out on Australia’s bowlers with some stunning improvised hitting which included a scope shot of the bowling of Tait which went for six.
The Kiwis win the toss and elected to bat but they got of to the worst possible start losing Peter Ingram at the end of the first over after he was bowled by Shaun Tait.
Ingram (0) never looked settled at the crease; he faced just three balls wildly swinging at all three delivers before Tait ended his misery by knocking his middle wicket over.
With Friday night’s heavy defeat still fresh in their minds the Kiwis could have easily collapsed after Ingram’s poor dismissal but McCullum and Martin Guptil remained calm taking their time to build a useful partnership.
The pair built a 52 run partnership before Guptil was caught by Steve Smith at long on off the bowling of Ryan Harris. Guptil only faced 17 balls and added only 17 runs to the partnership but he played superbly turning the strike over to ensure McCullum faced as many balls as possible.
McCullum was joined at the crease by Ross Taylor but his disappointing series continued after he was run out for just 6 by Cameron Wright. James Franklin (7) soon followed leaving the Kiwis 77-4 after 10.2 overs putting the Aussies firmly on top but Gareth Hopkins and McCullum launched a stunning blitz smashing an incredible 68 runs from just 30 balls.
The pair played some breathtaking shots smashing boundaries all around the AMI Stadium. They hit Daniel Christian for 19 runs in the 13th over before taking another 18 runs of the next over from Ryan Harris.
Hopkins departed for 36 to leave the Kiwis 145-5 and despite losing Jacob Oram for 0 in the next over McCullum continued his incredible one man blitz hitting Tait and Nannes around the ground with ease despite the pair bowling in excess of 150kmp.
McCullum raced towards the century mark reaching 100 from just 50 balls to spark wild celebrations; his century included 12 fours and 6 sixes.
Despite failing to beat Gayle’s record score he left the pitch to a standing ovation from the AMI Stadium crowd who had just witnessed a stunning innings by one of the world’s best Twenty20 players.