Editorial: Take a bow that man

STU PIDDINGTON
Last updated 05:00 19/02/2014

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Black Cap Brendon McCullum gave us all 302 reasons to celebrate yesterday with his gritty captain's knock at the Basin Reserve.

McCullum enters the record books as the first New Zealand player to break into the elite 300-club after passing Martin Crowe's 299 against Sri Lanka, incidentally also at the Basin.

It was no ordinary innings either as when he went in India had New Zealand on the ropes at 94 for five, and it looked like the visitors would square the series.

McCullum's epic innings was pedestrian by his standards but no one cared.

On the start of day five, every run was clapped and even some balls he left, as the tension mounted.

There was a nervous moment on 293 when he nicked Ishant Sharma but the ball fell short of wicketkeeper MS Dhoni.

He finally guided a ball through gully for four and raised his bat in celebration.

Being a true competitor he would have been disappointed to be out a couple of balls later but it mattered not.

While McCullum deservedly takes the accolades there are several others who need to take a bow as well.

The battling BJ Watling's 124 helped immensely and Jimmy Neesham also produced an entertaining 137 not out on debut to help New Zealand to its highest test innings.

Normally they would each be headlines on their own.

New Zealand Cricket also need a pat on the back for lowering the entry price which meant the ground had plenty of Black Cap supporters to witness a slice of New Zealand history.

McCullum's mate and often under-fire coach Mike Hesson would have also enjoyed the 559-ball knock.

McCullum's dad, Stu, was also there and it was great the television cameras caught his reaction of delight.

Martin Crowe might also catch a break now after having to watch his dismissal endlessly over the past 23 years, just missing out on what he once described as his Mt Everest.

Crowe was also delighted for McCullum.

The Black Caps skipper will also have time to reflect on a couple of other records from this test.

Not since the 1930s when Donald Bradman reigned supreme, has a player ever scored double and triple centuries in consecutive tests.

He and Watling also posted a world record 352-run partnership for the sixth wicket.

McCullum is also only the second player to score 300-plus in the second innings of a game.

A sweet summer indeed and it is great to be talking cricket rather than Super Rugby in February.

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- The Timaru Herald

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