Free Press Journal

McCullum smashes World Cup half-century record


Brendon McCullum

Wellington: Skipper Brendon McCullum blazed an 18-ball 50 — the fastest ever half-century in a cricket World Cup match – as New Zealand thrashed England by eight wickets. McCullum’s innings came after pacer Tim Southee helped bowl out England for just 123 with the best ever ODI figures by a New Zealand player, taking 7-33 from nine overs at the Westpac Stadium.

It was New Zealand’s best bowling in a World Cup match and the third best by any bowler in the tournament’s 11 editions. McCullum then launched a stunning assault, reaching his fifty from just 18 balls to help his team reach the target in just 12.2 overs. He was eventually dismissed for 77 from 25 balls, with eight fours and seven sixes.

It was the third fastest fifty in One-Day International (ODI) history – two balls short of South African A.B. de Villiers’s record of 16 – and the fastest ever by a New Zealander. McCullum eclipsed his own New Zealand record for the fastest ODI 50 – a 19-ball innings against Bangladesh in 2007 – and his own World Cup mark of 20 balls that he set against Canada in 2007. His rampage against England’s bowlers included four consecutive sixes off the bowling of Steven Finn, with the England quick’s second over going for 29 runs.

Friday’s records:

– Brendon McCullum reached his 50 from 18 deliveries, breaking the New Zealand (19 balls) and World Cup record for the fastest half-century, from just 18 balls. Amazingly, both those records had previously been held by McCullum.

– McCullum and Martin Guptill combined to take 29 runs from one Steve Finn over – the third-most ever by a New Zealand pair in ODIs.

– McCullum now has five ODI half-centuries from 21 balls or less – a number bettered only by Pakistani Shahid Afridi, with nine.