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New Zealand McMillan had no idea he had set world record


HAMILTON, New Zealand, March 30 (AFP) - New Zealands Craig McMillan had no idea he was setting a world record when he smashed 26 runs off one over from Pakistan legspinner Younis Khan in the third cricket Test here Friday.

But the New Zealand batsman was soon celebrating the new mark, and his naming as player of the New Zealand international season when his team won by the match an innings and 185 runs on the fourth day to draw the series 1-1.

McMillan hit five fours and a six off Younis' only over to beat a group of five players -- England's Ian Botham, India's Kapil Dev and Sandeep Patel, West Indian Andy Roberts and New Zealand's Ian Smith -- who shared the previous record of 24.

He hit Younis for 4, 4, 4, 4, 6, 4 as he neared a century with indecent haste.

His seven consecutive boundaries -- the last of them a six off spinner Saqlain Mushtaq -- was also a record as he moved from 50 to 98 in just 17 balls.

"It was just one of those knocks where it clicked. Everything I tried seemed to come off until I got to 98," McMillan said.

McMillan was denied his fifth Test century when he was caught on the third man boundary for 98 after 166 minutes and 97 balls, including 13 fours and three sixes.

"It didn't matter where they bowled it, I was going to have a go, so it was just a reflex shot. In hindsight I should have let it go."

McMillan employed the reverse sweep shot three times in his record over and also hit a six over long off. He was unaware he was setting any record.

"After I hit three boundaries I thought 'it'd be cool to hit six boundaries in an over'. I've never thought about that before."

The reverse sweep has become a fashionable shot in cricket around the world, with Zimbabwe's Andy Flower perhaps the best exponent of the unorthodox stroke.

McMillan has played the shot regularly in the past and regards it as far from unusual.

"It's a shot I practise in the nets, it's like any other shot. It works for me, but I only play it when certain field settings are in."

McMillan won a new Hyundai vehicle, as the player of the New Zealand international season, for his deeds during the series against Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

He rated his season highly, particularly his battles with two world-class spinners.

"I love hitting boundaries and I love taking on spinners.

"I've had a really good summer facing guys like (Muttiah) Muralitharan and Saqlain (Mushtaq). I've worked hard at reading them, but they're great bowlers."





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