Cricket: Brendon McCullum leaves crease for final time

By David Leggat

Brendon McCullum of New Zealand is congraulated by David Warner of Australia as he walks from the ground after his final test innings. Photo / Getty Images.
Brendon McCullum of New Zealand is congraulated by David Warner of Australia as he walks from the ground after his final test innings. Photo / Getty Images.

Brendon McCullum has left the test batting crease for the final time.

The New Zealand skipper, having hit the fastest of all test hundreds on Saturday, got to 25 in his last bow and fittingly his final scoring shot was the 107th six of his career, a cleanly struck pull off Josh Hazlewood, which whistled into the crowd at mid wicket.

Next ball he was gone.

McCullum tried to repeat the shot and was athletically caught at mid wicket by David Warner.

He departed to yet another standing ovation from the crowd, heartfelt and long.

The skipper turned, helmet off, and saluted the crowd of his adopted home city before disappearing into the dressing room.

The final innings took just 27 balls and you can argue it wasn't the most appropriate of settings to leave the stage, a chilly, grey day -- so different from his dazzling century on a superb, hot day on Saturday where a full house 8000 roared their delight as McCullum gave Christchurch something to remember.

Today is the fifth anniversary of the devastating earthquake which destroyed the city.

Black armbands were worn and a minute's silence observed.

It would have suited better to have had McCullum appear tomorrow, but Henry Nicholls' dismissal at 72 for three left the captain to come out to try and sort out another fine mess.

He hunkered down for several balls, willing himself to defend stoutly. The crowd was hushed, sensing both the importance of the moment for both captain and team.

But an upper cut to third man off James Pattinson seemed to unclutter the mind.

There was a sprint and tumble as he completed a hurried two, and the survival of a Pattinson appeal for caught and bowled, which replays showed flew into the ground off McCullum's bat.

Then came the pulled six and finally the dismissal.

McCullum finishes with a test career of 6453 runs from 176 innings in 101 tests, averaging 38.64, with 12 centuries.

But McCullum was always about more than just numbers.

Indeed you wonder if the fact he finished with a six will give him a quiet chuckle - going out on his terms. Six and out.

SCOREBOARD

WAGONWHEEL

MANHATTAN

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