Seriously, how good was that?
The done thing in journalistic circles is to sit and analyse and perhaps find fault, if you can. Not this time.
Brendon McCullum's record-breaking innings of 123, in New Zealand's 59-run win over Bangladesh at the Pallekele Cricket Stadium was simply hitting and entertainment of the highest order and all that can be said was that it was a pleasure to be here to witness it.
He helped the Black Caps to a match-winning total of 191 for three, before they restricted Bangladesh to 132 for eight in reply.
McCullum is a man with critics and they won't have disappeared just because of this knock. But even the harshest of them would have to acknowledge that his 58-ball onslaught was one of the finest individual performances Twenty20 cricket has seen.
The dasher from Dunedin's place in Twenty20 history was already assured. He had the most runs, 1443, prior to this innings, had hit the most fours and sixes and his previous highest score of 116, against Australia, was second only to the West Indies' Chris Gayle.
During tonight's 58 balls of superbly-clean hitting and beautiful placement, McCullum became the first batsman to go past the 1500-run mark in international Twenty20 cricket, the only player to score two hundreds at this level and he now holds the record for the highest individual score, by six runs.
His career average, of 38.19, is also the highest of any player in the list of top-20 aggregates.
Put simply, McCullum can obviously play a bit and, boy, did he do that here.
Almost from the get-go, when he came in to replace Martin Guptill who'd been bowled by Abdur Razzak for 11, McCullum hit the ball sweetly.
He needed to as well, because New Zealand's other opening batsman, James Franklin, was hardly getting a wriggle on. The run-rate hovered at five and six an over, as Franklin looked to chip the ball around for ones and McCullum prepared himself to launch.
Their 50 partnership still came up in reasonable time, with McCullum contributing 35 of them. Soon after he brought up his own half-century, from 29 balls, which included five fours and two sixes.
He seemed to be tiring at that point and it looked like Franklin might have to play the dominant role in the partnership. Unfortunately he holed out, for 35 off 36 balls, when McCullum was on 60 and it remained to be seen whether New Zealand could close their innings emphatically.
But the last 5.5 overs yielded 78 runs, as McCullum stepped up another gear and captain Ross Taylor batted sensibly in support.
McCullum was eventually dismissed on the last ball of the innings, caught low down at deep cover by Tamim Iqbal off Razzak's bowling. It was a bit of a shame, but McCullum had done more than enough damage for his side and their total of 191 was never going to be run down.
Confidence-wise for New Zealand, it was important that they didn't succumb to the threat of Bangladesh's left-arm spinners: Razzak, Skahib Al Hasan and Elias Sunny. The initial prospects didn't look great, when Guptill fell to Razzak's second delivery.
But, from then on, it was largely plain sailing. Razzak went for just 28 in his four overs, while Shakib and Sunny conceded 10 and 12 runs an over, respectively.
New Zealand then made a pretty clinical bowling first, of their own bowling effort. Bangladesh's dangerous top three of Iqbal, Mohammad Ashraful and Shakib didn't last too long and from there it was just a question of the Black Caps keeping their standards up.
They managed that easily enough and can now look forward to moving on to contest the Super 8s phase of this tournament, provided there aren't some extraordinary results in their clash with Pakistan tomorrow and then the Bangladesh-Pakistan game on Tuesday.
Martin Guptill b Razzak 11
James Franklin c Sunny b Mortaza 35
Brendon McCullum c Iqbal b Razzak 123
Ross Taylor not out 14Extras: (2lb, 6w) 8
TOTAL: (for 3 wickets) 191
Fall of wickets: 1-19, 2-113, 3-191.
Did not bat: Rob Nicol, Kane Williamson, Jacob Oram, Daniel Vettori, Nathan McCullum, Tim Southee, Kyle Mills.
Bowling: Mashrafe bin Mortaza 4-0-26-1 (5w), Shafiul Islam 3-0-34-0, Abdur Razzak 4-0-28-2 (1w), Shakib Al Hasan 4-0-40-0, Mahmudullah 1-0-13-0, Elias Sunny 3-0-36-0, Ziaur Rahman 1-0-12-0.
Tamim Iqbal c Guptill b Mills 0
Mohammad Ashraful lbw b Southee 21
Shakib Al Hasan c Williamson b Mills 11
Mushfiqur Rahim c Williamson b Mills 4
Mahmudullah c Williamson b NMcCullum 15
Nasir Hossain c Guptill b Southee 50
Ziaur Rahman not out 14
Mashrafe bin Mortaza c Franklin b Oram 5
Elias Sunny c Oram b Southee 5
Abdur Razzak not out 0
Extras: (3lb, 4w) 7
TOTAL: (for 8 wickets) 132
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-19, 3-33, 4-37, 5-87, 6-115, 7-123, 8-128.
Did not bat: Shafiul Islam.
Bowling: Kyle Mills 4-0-33-3, Tim Southee 4-1-16-3 (3w), Jacob Oram 4-0-34-1, Daniel Vettori 4-0-31-0, Nathan McCullum 4-0-15-1 (1w).Toss: Bangladesh.Result: New Zealand won by 59 runs.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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