McCullum out for 25 in final test innings for New Zealand

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) Brendon McCullum was out for 25 on Monday in his last international innings as New Zealand slipped toward a series defeat on the third day of the second cricket test against Australia.

After making the fastest century in test history, from 54 balls, to lift New Zealand from 32-3 to 370 in its first innings, McCullum was again called on to play a match-saving role in the 176th and last test innings of his international career.

He came to the crease with New Zealand at 72-3 in its second innings after Australia had gone out earlier in the day for 505, taking a first innings lead of 135. But McCullum was dismissed with New Zealand still trailing by 30 runs, and by stumps, the hosts were 121-4, 14 runs behind Australia with six wickets remaining.

Kane Williamson, left to hold the New Zealand innings together, was 45 not out, while Corey Anderson was 9.

Australia won the first test at Wellington by an innings and 52 runs and needs only a draw at Hagley Oval to win the two-match series and to reclaim the top ranking from India among test-match nations.

McCullum is retiring after 101 tests, 260 one-dayers and 71 Twenty20 internationals. His final innings lasted all of 36 minutes and was full of the excitement and drama that has been a feature of his long career.

He was the subject of a series of vociferous appeals from the visitors for lbws and a bat-pad catch that television replays showed to be a bump ball. Most of those appeals came during the bowling of James Pattinson, who found dangerous reverse swing in overcast conditions late in the day and finished with 3-29.

It also reflected the importance Australia placed on McCullum's wicket.

McCullum needed a few balls to settle in and appraise the threat posed by Pattinson, who was able to get the ball to swing back late at right-handed batsmen. He hit three fours over or wide of the slip cordon and a six, pulled off the front foot, into the crowd beyond the square mid-wicket boundary.

But McCullum was out on next ball, caught by David Warner at short mid-wicket from the bowling of Josh Hazlewood.

New Zealand had previously lost Martin Guptill for 0, Tom Latham for 39 and Henry Nicholls for 2 as Australia's bowlers dominated the hosts and edged closer to victory.

Earlier, New Zealand paceman Neil Wagner returned career-best figures of 6-106 to try to prevent the visitors from running up a huge first innings lead. He also claimed to vital wicket of Adam Voges for 60, ending his run of three straight centuries in his last three test innings.

Wagner had dismissed Steve Smith for 138 and Joe Burns for 170 late on the second day, which ended with Australia just seven runs behind New Zealand. He used a barrage of short-pitched balls through the first two sessions on Monday to remove Voges, Mitchell Marsh (18), Peter Nevill (13) and Hazlewood (13).

''As a kid growing up you dream of taking a five wicket bag against Australia,'' Wagner said. ''Probably not the way I took it; you dream of bowling guys out and getting guys out more conventionally. But you do dream of it and it's a dream that came true for me.''

McCullum also had two catches to assist in Australia's dismissal and bowled four overs, including two maidens, at a cost of three runs.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.