Craig McMillan v/s Australia (117 off 96 balls), 2007
The only blemish Mike Hussey would have on an otherwise impressive career will be a losing record as Australian captain, though he was only standing in for Ricky Ponting. It was, unfortunately, under his leadership that Australia ended up losing the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy to trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand, buckling under a ferocious onslaught led by the gladiator of the Black Caps – Craig McMillan.
Matthew Hayden had earlier played a phenomenal ODI innings, scoring an unbeaten 181 to take his side to a mammoth 346. He was ably supported by fellow opener Shane Watson’s run-a-ball half century and a whirlwind innings from wicket-keeper Brad Haddin made the total look daunting.
Then, the trio of Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Tait and Nathan Bracken took out four Kiwis – including skipper Stephen Fleming and the big-hitting Ross Taylor – to leave them gasping with only 41 on the board. But they hadn’t reckoned with McMillan.
The all-rounder had been out of favour with the selectors for a prolonged form slump, but he put all criticism behind him to smash the stuffing out of the Aussie bowlers. Boundaries and sixes cascaded from his blade as he accelerated in the company of Peter Fulton and then Brendon McCullum.
He smashed Watson for two monstrous sixes over long-on, and from then on, it was carnage as he used his brute strength with immaculate footwork to rip the bowling apart. Debutant Adam Voges was struck for two huge sixes as McMillan brought up his first ODI hundred since 2002.
Though he fell with New Zealand still short of victory, McCullum took up the charge and helped the side cross the finish line, winning the series 3-0 and inflicting more misery on the Aussies.Published 22 Oct 2013, 17:57 IST