It took some time for the rain to subside, but once it had the BLACKCAPS put on one of the most incredible cricketing spectacles in history.
No amount of superlatives will do the BLACKCAPS batting effort justice, which concluded with them making 283 for four from just 21 overs in a rain shortened match. However that total will likely be deemed insignificant, with Corey Anderson demanding the world’s attention with a record breaking 131 from 47 balls.
Jesse Ryder also welcomed 2014 in sensational fashion, pummeling the sixth fastest century off 46 balls. It seems almost inconceivable that such a knock could be bettered, but Anderson managed it.
Anderson’s brutal innings saw him dazzle his way into the record books on a number of levels, but there was an obvious standout – the fastest century in any form of international cricket.
His brief yet belligerent innings saw him rocket to 50 from 20 balls, yet his then strike-rate of 250 continued to trend upwards. Across two overs he struck five consecutive sixes, as well as four in one Sunil Narine over.
He remained on track and in the 18th over needed to strike a six to claim the record – no problem. He emphatically dispatched Nikita Miller over the rope and celebrated with appropriate exuberance. On what started as a gloomy day for Queenstown, ended with Anderson lighting up all corners of the ground.
Not to be forgotten was the clear message that Ryder signalled – he’s back. The 29-year-old was his explosive best en route to his extraordinary century, terrorising the West Indies bowlers. His own onslaught included 12 fours and five maximums.
With Ryder in full-flight and Anderson unstoppable, the crowd were in awe as the duo blitzed their way to a New Zealand record fourth wicket partnership of 191 (off 75 balls). Their stand came to an end in the penultimate over when Ryder was eventually caught off the bowling of Jason Holder (2-48).
Anderson though held his bat, finishing unbeaten and able to boast a number of New Zealand records, including most sixes in an innings (14). For the West Indies it finished a miserable 21 overs, blasted for 13.47 runs per over.
The visitors would need everything to go their way in their response if they were to have any chance of victory, but three wickets in the first four overs spelled the end. A spirited 56 from captain Dwayne Bravo saw them claw their way to 125 for five, giving the BLACKCAPS a 159 run victory.
It was an afternoon of incredible scenes. Apart from the delay at the start of the match, there could only be one other complaint – 22 chances to catch $100,000 were missed by the crowd, though some came close.
Nelson – get your Tui tops on for the fourth ODI on Saturday. (http://www.tui.co.nz/Competitions/Tui-Cricket-2014)