In his farewell to international cricket, Brendon McCullum scripted the perfect ending, smashing the fastest hundred in the history of Test Match cricket.
The New Zealand legend reached his century off of 54 balls, to take the record from Viv Richards and Misbah-Ul-Haq who had each previously hit 56-ball centuries.
The match against Australia at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch was being played in front of a sell-out crowd, with many in attendance to enjoy McCullum's final match for the Kiwis. Just over a year ago, McCullum enjoyed similar success at the same ground, slashing 195 from 134 balls against Sri Lanka to turn that Test Match on it's head.
McCullum finally fell for 145 off of 79 balls after being caught expertly by Nathan Lyon on the boundary edge. His remarkable knock included 21 fours and six sixes and completely shocked the tourists after they looked to be dominating following their heavy victory in the first Test.
McCullum lays marker in final match
Accompanied by the equally explosive Corey Anderson for much of his innings, McCullum came to the crease with his side in peril at 32-3 from 19.4 overs. He then took over the game, smoking the ball to all parts in an innings that is reminiscent of how he has played his entire career.
McCullum and Anderson shared a stand of 179 in less than 20 overs before the captain was eventually dismissed midway through the first day of the second Test in the series.
The Kiwi skipper clearly new the record was on the cards as he neared his century, taking a real liking to Josh Hazlewood who was doing everything in his power to stem the flow of runs.
The century was bought up with an extravagant drive over cover, with the crowd jumping to their feet to salute the incredible record of their hero who was playing in his 102nd and final Test.
The 54-ball century was McCullum's fastest by a staggering 20 deliveries, and he did not slow down once he had reached three figures, continuing to play big shots off any Australian bowler.
Pattinson no ball offers early reprieve
Before McCullum had reached 50, he was handed a huge spot of luck thanks to a no-ball from Australian fast bowler James Pattinson. Mitchell Marsh took an incredible catch in the gully to seemingly dismiss McCullum before the no-ball was confirmed by the third umpire, giving the batsman a second life.
Earlier in the day, Australia were in pole position to take control of the second Test after dismissing the Kiwi top order cheeply. Pattinson accounted for the wicket of Martin Guptill in the sixth over, before fellow opener Tom Latham followed for just four off the bowling of Jackson Bird.
Hazlewood then saw off Henry Nicholls, which saw McCullum stride to the crease, where he was soon joined by Anderson after the fourth wicket of the innings fell in the form of Kane Williamson for seven.
McCullum and Anderson then took over, slaying the Australian bowlers in a record-fifth wicket stand for New Zealand against Australia in Tests.