Bangalore:Brendon McCullum's merciless 158 helped the Indian Premier League on its way in remarkable fashion, as Kolkata Knight Riders walloped Bangalore Royal Challengers by 140 runs in a one-sided game on Friday night.
McCullum's score is the highest in T20 cricket, beating the previous mark by 17 runs. The short-statured but strong-armed wicketkeeper from New Zealand hit 13 sixes and 10 fours in a breathless exhibition of batting before a packed house at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Kolkata's score of 222-3 in seam-friendly conditions under lights was too much for Bangalore, who had chosen to field.
Embarrassed at home
After Bangalore lost captain Rahul Dravid to Ishant Sharma's first ball, there started a sombre procession of wickets in an embarrassing performance where extras was the joint top scorer with 18.
It was McCullum's day from the start. He kick-started the innings in style in the second over from Bangalore's Zaheer Khan - three cross-bats for four and miscued pull that flew over third man for six set the tone.
McCullum had moved to 29 by the time his opening partner, captain Sourav Ganguly scored his first runs.
The fifty of their innings was up off the last ball of the fourth over. Ganguly fell for 10 to Zaheer, and in came Ricky Ponting. He wasted no time in moving to 20, the highlight of his innings being a trademark hook off Jacques Kallis for six.
McCullum crossed 50 in 32 balls, 100 in 53 and 150 in 70 balls. Not a shot from his blade went wrong, not even the mistimed ones that flew over the fence comfortably.
The previous record for the highest score was Cameron White's 141 not out. Today, White was at the receiving end, hit by McCullum for 23 runs in his only over.
The Kiwi went into the last over on 136. Two huge sixes off the first two balls took him past the record in style.
His 14 sixes is also a record for most sixes in a T20 innings, comfortably beating Chris Gayle's 10 during his 117 that had started off the Twenty20 World Cup in similar style last year.
No bravado from Bangalore
Kallis had been famously kept out of South Africa's T20 side last year. Today, he had the whole stage to him to prove he can be equally spectacular in this variety.
A huge six over extra cover started his innings. But he hit the very next ball to mid on.
Ajit Agarkar is making a comeback of sorts to cricket and he had a useful outing, finishing with three wickets.
With edges flying all around, Ponting's slip catching was easy on the eyes. He gobbled Wasim Jaffer and B Akhil with consummate ease.
After Bangalore were reduced to 4-24 in the sixth over, the rest of the game became a formality. Ganguly chipped in with two wickets after Ishant's fiery spell.