Brendon McCullum blasted the fastest Test century in history off just 54 balls in his last international appearance before Australia fought back on day one of the second Test in Christchurch.
New Zealand captain McCullum, representing the Black Caps for the last time before retiring from the international scene, ensured he went out with a bang by writing his name into the record books, smashing 145 in New Zealand’s total of 370, with the tourists finishing on 57 for one at stumps.
By going to his ton off the equivalent of nine overs with a smear through the offside, McCullum broke Viv Richards’ and Misbah-ul-Haq’s previous record by two balls, leaving a fitting legacy to an explosive career.
After being caught off a no ball on 39, the 34-year-old punished the tourists, plundering six sixes and 21 fours at a strike rate of 183.54 before perishing five short of 150 when caught on the boundary.
Most pleasing for the skipper will be that his heroics came in his side’s hour of need as he arrived at the crease with the hosts on 32 for three in the 20th over after being sent in by Steven Smith.
McCullum was not alone in peppering the boundary as he was ably assisted by Corey Anderson, with the two big hitters launching a devastating counter-attack when coming together at 74 for four in the first over after lunch.
The pair put on 179 in just 18.2 overs with boundaries all around the wicket before McCullum finally departed after 79 balls of mayhem when caught by Nathan Lyon off the bowling of James Pattinson.
Anderson’s 66-ball innings ended three overs later for 72 when he skied off-spinner Lyon to cover, but he had also entertained the crowd with four sixes and eight fours.
BJ Watling had some late-innings fun with a 49-ball half-century before the New Zealand innings was brought to a close on 370 from only 65.4 overs, with Lyon finishing with 3-65.
David Warner was dismissed early on in Australia’s reply but Joe Burns made 27 and Usman Khawaja 18 to guide them to stumps without further damage as they trail by 313.