Best of the rest: McCullum's twenty/20 century (2010)

Audacious, daring, fearless and certainly risky. That is probably the best way to describe Brendon McCullum's unforgettable century in a twenty/20 match against Australia in Christchurch in February last year. It simply defied imagination.

He boldly went where mortals fear to tread, standing directly in front of fearsome fast bowler Shaun Tait and playing what has been described as "the suicide scoop".

You cannot set a field for a ramp shot over the wicketkeeper, but Australia must have contemplated it that day.

McCullum made the most dangerous shot in the book look, well, painless and he still has all his teeth.

His brilliant undefeated 116 (off just 56 deliveries) featured 12 fours and eight sixes and helped New Zealand reach a seemingly unassailable 214 for six.

Remarkably, Australia also scored 214 and the game had to be decided with an extra over apiece. New Zealand's Tim Southee kept his cool, taking one for six, and McCullum and Martin Guptill finished the job, scoring seven runs from three balls.

International twenty/20 is still relatively new and centuries rare. West Indies opener Chris Gayle broke through the barrier when he scored 117 against South Africa in 2007 and McCullum's effort was just the second time a century had been registered. Both reached their 100s from a mere 50 deliveries.

McCullum, in many ways, is a pioneer in the shortest format of the game. His career haul of 1245 runs is at the top of the list and his average of 36.61 at a strike rate of 132.44 further testament to his sublime skill.

 

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