A dramatic turnaround inspired by the equal fastest Twenty20 century from Brendon McCullum saw the BLACKCAPS end Australia’s golden run in breath taking fashion as the match went to a super over at AMI Stadium in Christchurch.
The Australians brushed aside Pakistan and the West Indies in all formats at home before easily accounting for the BLACKCAPS in the first Twenty20 in Wellington two nights ago but their winning streak was ended by a committed BLACKCAPS outfit.
Led by McCullum, the home side piled on 214 for six with a superb collective effort by the Australian batsmen equalling the score and sending the match to a super over.
The responsibility was handed to Tim Southee after the young quick bowler put in a stellar effort at the death during regular play.
With David Warner and Brad Haddin at the crease, Southee bowled his first three balls for three runs before having Warner caught on the boundary off his fourth. He backed this up with a dot ball before the final delivery went for two, leaving the BLACKCAPS with a target of seven runs to win.
The pressure was on Shaun Tait as McCullum faced up and it showed with his first ball going for one before he sprayed his next so wide that nearly left the pitch. Guptill worked the second legitimate ball for a single with Tait going for yet another wide before Guptill blasted the fourth to the square boundary to seal the win.
As expected, David Warner came out swinging, nailing a series of boundaries before a Shane Bond short delivery caught him off guard. The danger man skied the ball to the leg side with Southee completing a superb running catch to see him off for 20 off ten deliveries.
Brad Haddin and Michael Clarke steadied with 73 for the second innings before Haddin holed out off Franklin for 47 and then Hussey was bowled for 10 by the same bowler.
Clarke continued to anchor the innings as Cameron White climbed into all the bowlers at the other end.
By the time the 17th was complete all of the momentum was with Australia as they lashed their way to 179 before Southee pulled the BLACKCAPS back in the game by conceding just six singles in the 18th.
The see-saw theme continued as Oram’s next over went for 18 leaving 12 required from Southee’s final over.
In a tense finish Clarke and White scampered through for two off the final delivery to tie up the match, sending it to a super over.
Clarke, who was run out off the final ball when attemping the match winning run, ended with 67 while White hit a remarkable 64 off just 26 balls.
New Zealand’s master blaster, McCullum, gave the home side a flying start, taking 62 runs of the first six overs before a string of wickets left the home side foundering at 77 for four after 10.2 overs.
The injection of wicketkeeper Gareth Hopkins helped the home side regain the momentum as he put on 68 for the fifth wicket with McCullum off just five overs.
Hopkins struck 36 off 17 before stepping on his stumps when attempting to hook Dirk Nannes but by this time McCullum was in full flow.
He kept taking the attack to the Australians, playing a wide range of strokes including a number of undefendable ramp shots behind the keeper to go with some deft dabs and brutal power hitting down the ground.
Brendon was joined by Nathan McCullum (14*) with the brothers slamming 50 off 3.2 overs to force the total past 200 and beyond.
A crowd of over 26,000 were treated to one of the great innings with Brendon McCullum finishing on 116 not out off 56 deliveries, including 12 fours and eight sixes. Unfortunately he lost the strike towards the end of innings and was unable to overtake Chris Gayle’s Twenty20 record of 117 runs.
The much talked about pace attack that many thought was quick for the BLACKCAPS all went for over ten an over with Shaun Tait the best with two for 40.
The two team now head to McLean Park in Napier for the first of five One-Day Internationals on Wednesday 3 March.