New Zealand gave Brendon McCullum a perfect One Day International (ODI) farewell beating Australia by 55 runs to lift the Chappell-Hadlee trophy. The Kiwis won the three-match series 2-1.
Coming into the game, with the series level on 1-1, a packed Hamilton waited with bated breath to watch the Black Caps skipper McCullum in his final act in ODI colours. And the batsman did not disappoint.
He scored 47 runs off 27 balls, which included three massive sixes to give the Kiwis a brisk start, the skipper also passed a personal milestone becoming the fourth batsman to register 200 sixes in ODIs.
Once McCullum fell to Mitchell Marsh, it was left to Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson to capitilise on the brisk start. Williamson managed just 18 runs before being bowled by Boland, while Guptill followed soon, with Australia seemingly in command. Grant Elliot scored a valiant 50, but it was not enough, as the hosts were bowled out for 246. The Kiwis lost their last six wickets for 23 runs.
In reply, Australian openers started briskly, but it Matt Henry who got David Warner out on 16 runs. At the other end, Usman Khawaja continued his glorious form racing to 44 off 36 balls. Just when it looked like the southpaw would turn this start into a big innings, he played a loose shot getting caught behind off a Doug Bracewell stunner.
Australian skipper Steven Smith and George Bailey have not been in the best of form, which showed on the field. The pair plodded along adding just 19 runs off 51 balls, before Smith tried to get a boundary, but fell for 21 after playing across to an Ish Sodhi ball.
The spinner struck again and got Glenn Maxwell for a duck, leaving the game for the first time in the day. Australia though were in the hunt, Marsh and Bailey putting on 59 runs for the fifth wicket, until Matt Henry came back to get Bailey for a painstaking 33 runs. Marsh was next to go, albeit in controversial circumstances, getting out caught and bowled for 41, initially Henry thought it came off the toe but replay showed it came off the inside edge then hit the toe and lobbed to Henry.
Marsh's wicket was the final straw as the last four batsmen managed to put on a further 27 runs eventually folding for 191 runs. Sodhi walked away with the man of the match award for his two important wickets, but the real ovation was for McCullum, who changed the way New Zealand looked at cricket.