New Delhi: In the first match of his farewell series, skipper Brendon McCullum became the third New Zealand batsman to reach 6000 One-Day International runs after Stephen Fleming and Nathan Astle.
Batting first at Eden Park, Auckland, after losing the toss to Australia in the first match of the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy, McCullum played in his usual fearless way. After seven dot balls, he opened his account with a six, which was followed by a four of successive ball.
Needing 36 runs to reach the 6000-run mark, the 34-year-old scored 44 runs off 29 deliveries to lay a solid 79-run foundation with his in-form opening partner Martin Guptill, who missed the century by 10 runs.
New Zealand posted 307 runs from the 50 overs, and won the match by a whopping 159 runs with Kiwi new ball bowlers destroying the visitors.
McCullum, thus, became the 50th player in the ODI history to achieve the feat. After 226 innings in 258 matches, McCullum has 6008 runs with five centuries, at an average of 30.34.
In December, he announced retirement from international cricket after the February series.
He will become the first cricketer to play 100 consecutive Test matches when he takes the field in New Zealand’s first Test against Australia in Wellington from Feb. 12. McCullum is expected to make the second Test of that series – starting in Christchurch on Feb. 20 – his last match for New Zealand.