NZ vs Aus: McCullum farewell ends on a winning note

Brendon McCullum received a guard of honour from Australia as he took the field and, after ensuring a flying start for New Zealand, received a standing ovation from the capacity 6,000 crowd when he departed.

Brendon McCullum sparkled with a 27-ball 47 in his final limited overs innings.   -  AP

A sensational off-the-toe catch by Matt Henry brought a fairytale end to Brendon McCullum's ODI career when New Zealand beat Australia by 55 runs in Hamilton Monday.

The victory in a game that was in Australia's favour until Henry's dismissal of Mitchell Marsh, saw McCullum end his limited overs career with a 2-1 series win over the world champions and the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy.

Australia, set a target of 247, had their tails up when they needed 83 off the last 16 overs with five wickets in hand and Marsh, their match-winner in Sunday's second tie, in full flight.

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But the momentum swung back in New Zealand's favour when a Henry delivery edged off Marsh's bat, on to his foot, and rebounded back to the bowler.

The umpire turned down an appeal from Henry.

But when the replay on the big screen confirmed what Henry suspected the umpires called for an official review which showed the ball had not touched the ground and a clearly angry Marsh was out.

From there the Australian innings collapsed with their last five wickets falling for 27 runs in 10 overs.

Earlier, Brendon McCullum played his last limited overs innings with a swashbuckling 47. Martin Guptill top scored with 59 and Grant Elliott chipped in with 50.

But when New Zealand was set for a big finish the innings collapsed with the last five wickets falling for nine runs in 14 deliveries, ending in the 46th over.

New Zealand and Australia went into the match locked at 1-1 and with McCullum looking to end his illustrious ODI career by claiming the winner-takes-all showdown.

He received a guard of honour from Australia as he took the field and, after ensuring a flying start for New Zealand, received a standing ovation from the capacity 6,000 crowd when he departed.

200 sixers

One of the biggest hitters in the game, McCullum's 47 came off 27 balls and included three sixes to give him 200 sixes in his 260-match ODI career.

He retires from ODI cricket fourth on the sixes list which is headed by Pakistan's Shahid Afridi with 351.

In Tests, the 34-year-old McCullum shares the world record of 100 sixes with now retired Australian Adam Gilchrist and with every chance of claiming the honour outright before retiring from international cricket after the two-Test series against Australia this month.

With McCullum at the crease in Hamilton the run rate was near 8.5 an over but slowed after his dismissal.

He skied a delivery from Mitchell Marsh which had John Hastings and Glen Maxwell hesitating over who should take the catch before Hastings dived late to pouch the ball and close McCullum's last ODI innings.

Guptill, who had played a supporting role while his captain was at the crease, picked up the pace and reached 59, his 30th half century, before he was hoodwinked by Adam Zampa and sent a top edge to Hastings at short fine leg.

Losing momentum in the middle overs

As in the second match in Wellington, won by Australia by four wickets two days ago, New Zealand found themselves losing momentum in the middle order.

Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls were quickly in and out for 18 each before Elliott and Corey Anderson tried to regain the initiative with a 52-run stand.

When Anderson was dismissed as they prepared to mount a late assault New Zealand was 223-5 with 10 overs remaining. Marsh then claimed Luke Ronchi and Elliott with successive balls to finish with three for 34.

Scott Boland removed Adam Milne and Hastings was left sitting on a hat-trick when he took Doug Bracewell and Ish Sodhi to end the innings with 27 balls to spare.

The series now moves to Wellington for the first of two Tests starting on Friday.

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