Brendon McCullum scored the highest total by a New Zealand batsman in Test cricket history when he made 302 against India in the second innings of the second Test against India the Basin Reserve in Wellington.
The total made him the first scorer of a triple century for the Black Caps. The previous record belonged to Martin Crowe, who fell for 299 at the same ground in a Test versus Sri Lanka in 1991.
What made McCullum's innings so special was the context. The skipper came in with his side looking sure to lose the Test match, and with it settle for a draw in the two-match series.
New Zealand were at one stage 94-5 in their second innings, still more than 150 runs away from avoiding an innings defeat.
But he dug in and batted for a total of 559 balls, and more than 12 hours, to bat his side to safety.
Supermac edges Zaheer on 302. That's 559 deliveries, close to 750 minutes, many painkillers and a saved Test later http://t.co/VRSAueEvTH— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) February 17, 2014
He had able support from BJ Watling (124) and also from Jimmy Neesham, who bagged a century on his debut as well.
McCullum, however, was the star of the show.
And by Day 5, when he resumed on 281 with the record in sight, a full crowd turned up at Wellington to see history be made.
Even his defensive blocks were met with oohs and ahhs from the crowd, while an edge off the bowling of Ishant Sharma fell tantalisingly close—but just short—of India wicketkeeper MS Dhoni.
He cut behind square for the boundary that took him to the landmark, but his innings ended just two balls later as he edged behind off the bowling of Zaheer Khan.
By then it did not matter. It was just another opportunity for the crowd to applaud his efforts.
McCullum's Record-Breaking Innings (stats via ESPNCricinfo)
|BB McCullum*||c †Dhoni b Khan||Runs 302||Balls 559||32 x 4||4 x 6||Strike Rate: 54.02|