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McCullum mastery puts New Zealand on top

Skipper's record-breaking 195 takes home side to 429 for 7 on opening day of first Test against Sri Lanka

McCullum mastery puts New Zealand on top - Cricket News
Brendon McCullum became the first New Zealand batsman to score 1,000 runs in a calendar year.
A record-breaking Brendon McCullum was at his aggressive best as he led New Zealand to an imposing 429 for 7 on the first day of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Christchurch on Friday (December 26). 

McCullum admitted at the toss that he would have liked to bowl first on a green surface, but once inserted, he put his side in a commanding position with the fastest century ever hit in Test cricket for his country. On the way, he also became the first New Zealand batsman to score 1,000 runs in a calendar year. 

He, however, missed out on a double century, scoring a whirlwind 195 off only 134 deliveries that included 11 sixes and 18 fours. In addition, he equalled the New Zealand record of 26 runs off one over, hitting Suranga Lakmal for three sixes and two fours. He missed out on another record of most sixes in an innings by one, with Wasim Akram holding the world record of 12.

McCullum put Sri Lanka's attack to the sword during century partnerships with Kane Williamson (54) and Jimmy Neesham (85). After Ross Taylor was run out in the first over after lunch, Sri Lanka's captain Angelo Mathews would have been happy having New Zealand at 88 for 3. But, McCullum took just 74 deliveries to reach his 11th Test century, eclipsing his own 78-ball record set against Pakistan in Sharjah last month.
He had a slice of luck on 153 when Kumar Sangakkara missed a chance at long-on, before debutant Tharindu Kaushal’s offspin did the trick, with the New Zealand captain caught by a diving Dimuth Karunaratne.
Earlier, New Zealand made a cautious start with openers Tom Latham and Hamish Rutherford settling in against the Sri Lanka quicks. But soon, Lakmal bowled Rutherford (18) and Shaminda Eranga had Latham for 27. After being handed a life when on 39, Williamson was bowled for 54. Taking the new ball in the last over of the day, Mathews had BJ Watling trapped leg before for 26 leaving Mark Craig unbeaten on 5.
Mathews returned 2 for 34 while Lakmal, Eranga, Prasad and Kaushal had one wicket each.

To review the New Zealand v Sri Lanka match in full, please click here.

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