New Zealand v Australia, 2nd Test, Christchurch, 1st day February 20, 2016

McCullum scores fastest hundred in Test history

Brendon McCullum's hundred came from 54 balls © Getty Images

Brendon McCullum has blasted the fastest century in Test history, a 54-ball effort that broke the record jointly held by Viv Richards and Misbah-ul-Haq. In his 101st and final Test match, McCullum attacked Australia's bowlers relentlessly and brought up his milestone by crashing a four over cover off Josh Hazlewood.

McCullum celebrated to a standing ovation from the crowd at Hagley Oval in Christchurch, raising his bat to all parts of the venue in his adopted home-town. His effort was two balls faster than the previous record 56-ball century scored by Richards against England in Antigua in 1985-86, which was equalled by Misbah-ul-Haq against Australia in Abu Dhabi in 2014-15.

It was all the more extraordinary an innings given that McCullum came in with the score at 32 for 3 in the 20th over, as New Zealand's top order played watchfully against a seaming ball having been sent in by Steven Smith. Kane Williamson scored 7 and took more balls - 69 - than McCullum needed to get to his hundred.

McCullum had been given a major let-off on 39 when he sliced to gully and was brilliantly caught by a diving Mitchell Marsh. However, umpire Richard Kettleborough asked for the third official to check the front foot of bowler James Pattinson and a no-ball was confirmed.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale

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