A major T20 world record has been smashed at New Plymouth’s Pukekura Park in the big-hitting McDonald’s Super Smash contest between the Central Stags and Otago Volts.
Before an enthralled crowd on a belter of a track, Volts captain Hamish Rutherford scored the first McDonald's Super Smash century of the summer and the second fastest T20 domestic century in New Zealand — the only quicker effort has been by retired Stags legend Jamie How who found a ton here off 45 balls in 2012.
Then Stags star Mahela Jayawardena answered in equally entertaining style with his third T20 century: a massive 116 off 56 balls. That was the second highest T20 score in New Zealand T20 history, behind Martin Guptill's unbeaten 120 for the Aces against the Kings in 2011/12 in Rangiora.
The Volts' epic innings was the seventh-highest T20 team total in history worldwide yet the match went down to a thrilling last over, eight runs needed from it, and then a dramatic last-ball finish that saw the Stags needing just one run to force a Super Over, or two for the win.
Instead, after Neil Wagner dropped in a fullish delivery to Dane Cleaver, the Stags had to scramble for a quick single that saw Wagner run Cleaver out at the bowler’s end, sparking massive celebrations for the visiting team as they snuck a one-run victory over the ballistic and previously unbeaten Stags.
The game aggregate of 497 runs beat the world record, previously 479 set by the West Indies and India in August this year, and the Volts’ 249/3 batting first after winning the toss was a Pukekura Park and a domestic New Zealand record, followed by the Stags’ incredible reply of 248/4.
Jayawardena’s century flew off just 48 balls, while Rutherford’s had been slammed off 46 balls. Six-smashing local Tom Bruce (61 not out off just 29) kept the Stags in it with a 22-ball half century, too, in a thumping stand with Jayawardena.
1st wicket: 130 (Anaru Kitchen / Hamish Rutherford)
2nd wicket: 67 (Hamish Rutherford / Neil Broom)
3rd wicket: 35 (Neil Broom / Jimmy Neesham)
4th wicket: 14* (Neil Broom / Michael Bracewell)
1st wicket: 72 (George Worker / Mahela Jayawardena)
2nd wicket: 33 (Mahela Jayawardena / Will Young)
3rd wicket: 124 (Mahela Jayawardena / Tom Bruce)
4th wicket: 19 (Tom Bruce / Dane Cleaver)
"Wags has been sensational in the death throughout this whole campaign so to have him bowl that over was exciting," Rutherford said afterwards.
"I just said to him, 'Mate, come on, this is what you play cricket for'. And as Neil usually is, he was absolutely fizzing for it. Once it got down to that last ball, it took a while to understand what we were going to do and we thought about maybe a Super Over but to walk away with an actual victory at that point was amazing."
The exciting win takes the Volts to third on the points table, still two points behind the second-placed Stags, with the Aces sitting top.
The Stags will be back at Pukekura Park 4pm Thursday December 29 to take on the Aces: tickets