New Zealand v Australia Tests
McCullum blasts fastest Test match ton
Black Caps skipper reaches triple figures from just 54 balls in his final international match
20 February 2016, 12:05 PM AEST
Black Caps skipper Brendon McCullum has set a new world record for the fastest Test match hundred in his final international appearance against Australia in Christchurch, reaching the milestone from 54 balls.
In his 101st and final Test for New Zealand, McCullum broke the previous 56-ball record held by Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq and West Indian Sir Vivian Richards.
He was on track to easily break his own record for fastest Test 150 when he was dismissed for 145 from 79 balls, in a knock that included six maximums and 21 fours.
— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) February 20, 2016
McCullum made the most of a life and turned the second Test on its head with the explosive innings in the second trans-Tasman Test at Hagley Oval, reaching his half-century from 34 balls before slamming on another fifty from just 20 deliveries.
— Cricket Video (@CricketVideo) February 20, 2016
The 34-year-old brought up the record with a fourth consecutive boundary, charging down the wicket and slapping a ball from Josh Hazlewood over the covers.
His 100 featured 16 boundaries and four sixes and took just 79 minutes.
McCullum was on 39 when he was superbly caught by Mitch Marsh at gully – only for replays to reveal James Pattinson had overstepped.
He immediately made Pattinson pay, sending his next delivery to the boundary before reaching his half-century from 34 balls.
Quick single: Pattinson no-ball costly for Australia
The innings was all the more astonishing given how much the ball was doing on a lively green pitch, with McCullum walking out after a collapse of 3-11, welcomed by a standing ovation from the sold-out Christchurch crowd and a guard of honour from the tourists.
He wasted no time teeing off, striking a boundary from the second ball he faced.
McCullum despatched Marsh for 21 runs in the 23rd over, and only the lunch break managed to halt his charge as he ended the session unbeaten on 37 from 18 balls.
His barrage off Marsh included two straight sixes, taking McCullum to the outright world Test record of 102 sixes. He had previously shared the mark of 100 with former Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist.
Quick single: McCullum to exit with legacy assured
The 34-year-old had drawn level with the Australian legend during New Zealand's first Test against Sri Lanka in December.
On that occasion, he declared immediately after, saying afterwards he was well aware he was level with Gilchrist, who retired from Tests in 2008 after 96 Tests.
McCullum's blazing Christchurch innings also relegated Gilchrist down the list of fastest Test tons. He had held the second fastest - now third - Test ton, from 57 balls against England at the WACA Ground in 2006.
McCullum's previous fastest Test century - from 74 deliveries - was also scored at Hagley Oval, against Sri Lanka during the 2014-15 Boxing Day Test.
That knock came exactly one month after he scored a ton from 78 balls against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.
Saturday was the fourth time the Black Caps skipper had reached triple figures at better than a run-a-ball in Tests, with the first scored off 94 balls against Zimbabwe in Harare in 2005.
Quick single: Broken city prepares to farewell its adopted son
Even before his (2016) heroics at Hagley Oval McCullum was feted as one of the most significant international cricketers and captains the modern game has seen.
He picked up a team that had been bowled out for 45 his first Test as captain in Cape Town 2013 and led them to five series wins as captain, including their most successful Test year in 2014, and a first World Cup final last March.
His attacking style – with the bat and as captain – has not always been successful, but is irresistible, filled with swagger but no arrogance.
McCullum's aggressive batting ensures he also leaves the game with the fifth-fastest Test double-ton, from 186 balls, and the equal-third fastest one-day fifty – from 18 deliveries – scored as he blasted 77 off 25 balls against England in the 2015 World Cup.
FASTEST TEST TONS
54 balls: Brendon McCullum, New Zealand v Australia, Christchurch (2015-16)
56: Viv Richards, West Indies v England, St John's (1985-86)
56: Misbah-ul-Haq, Pakistan v Australia, Abu Dhabi (2014-15)
57: Adam Gilchrist, Australia v England, Perth (2006-07)
67: Jack Gregory, Australia v South Africa, Johannesburg (1921-22)
69: Shiv Chanderpaul, West Indies v Australia, Georgetown (2002-03)
69: David Warner, Australia v India, Perth (2011-12)
70: Chris Gayle, West Indies v Australia, Perth (2009-10)
71: Roy Fredericks, West Indies v Australia, Perth (1975-76)
74: Majid Khan, Pakistan v New Zealand, Karachi (1976-77)