Brendon McCullum scored a century off 54 balls to enter into the record book of cricket.
Brendon McCullum is one of the most influential New Zealand players in the last twenty years. There are many innings in all formats of the game where he has lit up the ground with his atrocious shots and risk-taking. His 158 at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in the opening match of 2008 IPL was a perfect way to start the IPL Band-wagon. Some of his shots were unbelievable and made fans wonder the power of his wrists.
On This Day
On February 20, 2016, in the first morning of his last test McCullum played similar innings and stunned the cricketing world. The conditions at Hagley Oval were conducive for fast bowling and Josh Hazlewood and James Pattinson utilized the lively nature of the pitch after sending New Zealand in. New Zealand were 32 for three when McCullum came to bat. He did not waste any time to familiarize himself with the tough conditions and started playing his shots from the beginning. The second delivery he faced was hit for a four. Soon he hit two fours and two sixes in a Mitchell Marsh over to reach 26 in 10 balls. Williamson at the other end was not comfortable and went to lunch with 64-ball 7. He was gone in the first over after lunch after a partnership of 42 where his contribution was 4.
But Brendon McCullum did not get distracted by this wicket. He was joined by Corey Anderson and continued his merry way. Anderson was also keen to play his shots which helped McCullum. He brought up his fifty of 34 balls and celebrated by taking 14 runs in that Jackson Bird over. In that phase, New Zealand were scoring in a break-neck pace and added 55 in four overs with McCullum contributing 38 of it.
Brendon McCullum & World Record
At the beginning of 36th over McCullum was standing at 82 of 48 balls. The fastest test century with respect to balls faced was scored off 56 balls by the great Sir Viv Richards in 1986. Later this record was equaled by Misbah Ul Haq in 2014. McCullum needed 18 runs off 7 deliveries to make the world record his own.
After a couple of dot balls, Brendon McCullum got a top edge six in the third delivery of Hazlewood. Then there was no stopping back, McCullum hit three consecutive boundaries in the last three balls of that over and with the third boundary reached his century on 54 balls, the fastest century in the history of test cricket. Out of the 143 runs scored post him coming to bat, 100 was scored by him and it was a dominant performance like no other. He kept playing his shots and finally got dismissed for 145. The New Zealand total was 253. Anderson and Watling took New Zealand to 370 but it was not enough as Australia replied with 505. There were a couple of big centuries from Joe Burns and Steven Smith.
In his last innings, Brendon McCullum scored 25 out of total 335 but a target of 201 was easily chased down by Australia. Although McCullum could not finish in a winning note, his batting master class was a special innings and took him to the record books.
Also Read: On This Day – 19th Feb