McCullum blasts Canterbury to Twenty20 title
Brendon McCullum smashed 62 from 22 deliveries to propel Canterbury to a six-wicket win over Auckland in the inaugural Twenty20 final at Eden Park's Outer Oval.
Chasing 180, McCullum went hammer-and-tongs at the Auckland bowling attack, smashing six sixes and four fours in an opening stand of 80 with Nathan Astle. Swinging the bat at almost every delivery faced in a 25-minute stay at the crease, McCullum effectively signalled the outcome of the match - Canterbury's fifty came up in 13 minutes and 17 deliveries - by the time he holed out to Mayu Pasupati off Paul Hitchcock.
Astle, reserved in comparison to McCullum, hit 74 from 52 deliveries with 11 fours and two sixes before being run out by New Zealand team-mate Lou Vincent with victory just 2 runs away.
After being inserted by Chris Harris, the Canterbury captain, Auckland's total of 179 for 7 was centred around Scott Styris's 62 from 32 balls, complete with five sixes and four fours. Vincent and Hitchcock also contributed with 37 and 36 respectively. Chris Cairns, who recently announced his retirement from international cricket, picked up 2 for 31 from four overs.