|World Twenty20: McCullum rips through Bangladesh|
22 September 2012
Brendon McCullum notched the highest individual score in all Twenty20 internationals to help New Zealand humble Bangladesh by 59 runs at the Pallekele stadium.
The 30-year-old right-hander smashed seven sixes and 11 boundaries during his 58-ball 123 to give New Zealand, who reached 191 for three in their 20 allotted overs, a rampaging start to the Group D match played under overcast conditions. McCullum’s clean hitting made it gloomy for Bangladesh who were restricted to 132 for eight in their 20 overs, with Tim Southee (three for 16) and Kyle Mills (three for 33) sharing the spoils.
Nasir Hossain played a lone fighting hand with an impressive 39-ball 50, studded with six boundaries and a six while opener Mohammad Ashraful made 21. Shakib Al Hasan fell for 11.
New Zealand captain Ross Taylor praised McCullum’s robust innings.
“When you have someone score a century you’re always in the box seat,” said Taylor. “The pitch nipped around early on and seemed to zip on a little bit under the lights. Hopefully this win will give us momentum.”
Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim said McCullum had made all the difference.
“We bowled well in the first few overs but McCullum, even when he doesn’t hit the ball well, it’s still going for six,” said Rahim. “We’ll look at our strengths and come up with a new strategy for the next game.”
It was all McCullum when New Zealand batted after being sent by Bangladesh. He hit two sixes in Abdur Razzak’s last over of the innings to go clear of South African Richard Levi’s previous highest score of 117 made against New Zealand in Hamilton earlier this year. He was finally dismissed off the last delivery to end Bangladesh’s miseries but not before helping New Zealand to 63 runs off the last four overs.
McCullum was delighted with his performance.
“I’m very pleased to make a contribution,” said the wicket-keeper at the innings interval. “The partnership with James Franklin set us up. On some days it comes off and on some it doesn’t. Bangladesh have very good bowlers and have done well against us. But the boys have worked hard to play left-arm spin in anticipation for this, and it was nice to put such a total on the board.”
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