thats four, and New Zealand have whitewashed, blackwashed, whatever you wanna call it - they've beaten Australia 3-0! McCullum slashes another low full toss, one-handed, smack in the gap behind backward point and since everyone was up, that ball was destined for the ropes!
I need a breather and a nice stiff drink. Wow. If you thought the last match was a humdinger, well I'll tell you, this was something else. Bracken just lost the plot in the last over, offering a bleeding full toss to McCullum, a man whose reputation as a last-ditch scrapper has skyrocketed. What an innings he played, an unbeaten 86 from 91 deliveries, partnering the never-say-die McMillan in the partnership of the match.
McMillan....well, he needs a special mention. From 41 for 4, with the solid Peter Fulton for support to begin with, he slammed the fastest ODI hundred by a New Zealander. He showed his belligerence in the CB Series and in the last match, but today he took it up a notch and then some. A fabulous innings from him, a day he wont forget any time soon. McMillan, Fulton, McCullum and that man Mark Gillespie, who kept everyone on their toes with a 15-ball 28, mastering the art of the inside-edge and french cut to perfection.
Spare a though for Mike Hussey, who hasnt won a game as captain. He had a depleted side, but then like they say, you put your best team forward. New Zealand too were without their two best bowlers, Shane Bond and Daniel Vettori, and it showed as Matthew Hayden led a fine onslaught to carry Australia to 346. He carried his bat, and braved a fractured foot to score an unbeaten 181, the highest score by an Australian. Unfortunately, he didnt take the field and ended up on the losing side. His injury will monitored very closely leading into the World Cup in three weeks.
For those interested in stats, today's match had 26 sixes - yes, 26 - to equal the record set during that 438 match at Johannesburg last year.
So New Zealand sweep the 2006-07 Chappell-Hadlee Series.
Well, thats all we have for you. This was the last official ODI ahead of that little tournament the ICC have lined up next month. We will definitely see you there. This is Jamie Alter signing off with a hearty cheers until the World Cup!
full and he drives that back to the bowler
everyone comes in...tension, tension...
would you believe it? Bracken! He bowls a knee-high full toss on the stumps and McCullum slams that superbly over deep fine leg for half a dozen! What a game this is!
Seven needed from six. Dont say a word. McCullum on strike. Here's Bracken.
full in the blockhole, McCullum looks to club it, mistimes it to the off side, sets off, Tait and cover swoop in and fire a throw but McCullum is safe
Last wicket remaining.
run out! Tait bowls a great, low delivery outside off stump, Gillespie squeezes the bat down it to steer it to backward point, crosses for one and then as he turns for the second, has to head back as a very good throw comes in from Voges to get him inches short of his crease
full and wide, he makes room and square-drives past backward point, thought about the second but thinks better
short of a length, a bouncer, but Gillespie gets up on the toes and runs that in the gap at gully for one down to third man
good ball, in the blockhole, McCullum hammers it wide of mid-on for a quick single
full and wide, he crunches a hard drive to cover
11 from 12. Whew.
yorker goes wrong again, ends up full, and Gillespie flicks wide of square leg, wants two, a good throw comes in but Gillespie is home safe
good ball again, well done, great length outside off stump and it beats Gillespie's attempted slash
slower ball on off stump, now he's just messing with all of us is Gillespie, as he gets over it and flicks over square leg for a couple more
full on middle and leg, and he plays a very good-looking flick, proper roll of the wrists et al, and gets an easy two out to deep midwicket
full on middle and leg, he uses the feet to flick to mid-on for one...he sure trusts Gillespie
good ball! Zeroed in on middle and off and McCullum can only dig it out back to Bracken...well bowled
18 from 18. Everyone on their feet. Hussey chats with Bracken.
overpitched outside off stump, McCullum leans into it and drives out to cover sweeper for the single...Seddon Park is alive
attempted yorker on off stump, he makes room and exposes the stumps, and then jams the bat down to steer it down to third man...Gillespie!
fast and full, speared into leg stump, he shuffles and nudges it into the gap at midwicket and thats some terrific running
Gillespie you beauty! This one is full and moving into leg stump, Gillespie backs away and squirts the bat at it, and gets another four courtesy the french cut
overpitched outside off stump, room on offer, McCullum hits that very hard down to Hogg at long-off, who gets down and fields well