Kiwis and Aussies tie incredible game
Michael Clarke and Cameron White stunned the Kiwis scoring 11 runs from the final over to earn a tie despite chasing a mammoth total of 215 after Brendon McCullum smashed an incredible 116 runs from just 56 balls to cap a thrilling game at the AMI Stadium.
The pair enjoyed a partnership of 82 which allowed the Aussies to tie the game after they scored two runs of the final ball of the innings sending the game into a super over to decide the winner.
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.
Despite facing such an imposing target the Aussies still believed they would be able to win the game and with David Warner opening the batting they had an explosive player who could match McCullum’s fireworks.
Warner started off well hitting Tim Southee for 15 runs in the second over to get the Aussies run chase of to the perfect start but Southee got his revenge in the next over catching Warner at short fine leg off the bowling of Shane Bond leaving the visitors 27-1.
Brad Haddin who had so far been quite was joined out in the middle by skipper Michael Clarke and the pair enjoyed a second wicket partnership of 73 before Haddin (47) was caught by Peter Ingram off the bowling of James Franklin.
The partnership of 73 for Australia started to concern the Kiwis but when David Hussey departed for 10 in the 13th over the hosts started to fell the victory had been secured.
Unfortunately for the Kiwis Cameron White had other ideas as he came to the crease and started to mimic McCullum’s innings smashing the bowlers around the ground.
As White and Clarke’s partnership started to increase the tension mounted inside the AMI Stadium. Despite setting the Aussies a target of 215 the Kiwis were starting to feel the pressure.
The boundaries were flowing with Franklin, Oram and Southee unable to restrict White and Clarke as they march towards an improbable victory.
After smashing 18 runs from Oram’s final over the Aussies needed just 12 runs from the last six balls as the tension mounted. Tim Southee was given the responsibility of seeing the Kiwis home but White and Clarke managed to get 11 runs to tie the game.
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.