McCullum belts fastest ever Test century against Australia

CHRISTCHURCH – New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum on Saturday smashed the fastest ever Test ton in his final international match.

McCullum reached three figures in 54 balls here, bettering the previous mark of 56 deliveries held by Viv Richards and Misbahul Haq, the Guardian reported. He marched to the milestone in 79 minutes on day one of the second Test Match between Australia and New Zealand at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch. He cracked four sixes and 16 fours to post his second Test ton against Australia.

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. The knock 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 11-3. His only chance came on 39, when Mitch Marsh plucked a one-handed catch at gully. Marsh celebrated wildly but umpires wanted to check for a no-ball, with footage revealing James Pattinson clearly overstepped.

McCullum received a standing ovation from the sold-out crowd at Hagley Oval and was given a guard of honour by Australia when his innings started. The cheering was more thunderous when McCullum celebrated his ton, hugging teammate Corey Anderson. The outgoing Black Caps skipper eventually fell for 145 from 79 deliveries, departing in much the same style as he had employed to captivate the Hagley Oval crowd during his whirlwind stay, smashing a catch to Nathan Lyon in the deep off the bowling of a relieved Pattinson.

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