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New Zealand’s Record Breaking Colin Munro Takes T20I Batting To Another Level

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It was a grand effort by New Zealand’s Colin Munro, who smashed his way into the record books after a stupendous T20I century against the West Indies at Mount Maunganui on Wednesday.
Courtesy of this ton, Munro became the first ever batsman in the format to smash three centuries in international T20 cricket making a new mark for himself. His 104 runs from 53 balls was a special effort to dictate the proceedings against a lacklustre Windies, whose sorry campaign in New Zealand ended without a single victory across three formats. After losing the Tests 2-0, Windies fell short in the ODIs too losing by 3-0 margin. In the T20Is they were swept by another 2-0 show.
Munro’s onslaught helped the Black Caps win the third T20I by a huge margin of 119 runs after they put up 243/5 on the board. The visiting side were bundled out for a paltry 124, as fans went berserk after watching Munro bat in such a commanding fashion.Many records were broken by the Kiwis and Munro himself after this special victory.
Munro surpassed the West Indies’ Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis, India’s Rohit Sharma and New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum, who all have two centuries in T20 internationals. His innings was laced with three fours and 10 sixes as he made batting look so easy. What was eye catching was a solid 136-run opening stand with Martin Guptill that was achieved in just 11.3 overs, before Guptill got out for 63.

Interestingly, Munro carried on with the same swagger and got to his 3rd career ton in style. Munro lasted until the final over, caught at long-on off paceman Carlos Brathwaite. By then he had done the damage to hurt the visitors.What is commendable by the Kiwis management is Munro’s promotion as an opener earlier this summer, where he excelled against India. In the 1st T20I he had smashed 53 off 37 balls and followed it up with a 23-ball 66 in the rain-hit 2nd game.
His previous two tons came against  Bangladesh at the same venue in 2017 and was followed by an unbeaten 109 runs versus India in the same year. Also in these three innings, he notched a superb strike rate as it increased with every innings to highlight his boundary hitting at ease.
Here is a look at Munro’s three tons in T20Is.
New Zealand vs Bangladesh – 2nd T20I, Mount Maunganui, 2017

              Runs Balls 4/6 Strike Rate
                101  54                  7/7   187.04

India vs New Zealand – 2nd T20I, Rajkot, 2017

              Runs Balls 4/6 Strike Rate
                109*  58                  7/7   187.93
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New Zealand vs West Indies – 3rd T20I, Mount Maunganui, 2018

              Runs Balls 4/6 Strike Rate
                104  53                  3/10   196.23

Munro’s 10 sixes was a monumental effort but he fell short of Aaron Finch’s 14 sixes, who holds the record in a T20 international. The southpaw has embarked on a special journey where in a short span of time he has gone to surpass some great players to get to a 3rd ton.
Players who have scored two tons in T20Is –
Rohit Sharma (India): 118 vs Sri Lanka and 106 vs South Africa
Chris Gayle (West Indies): 117 vs Australia and 100 vs England
Evin Lewis (West Indies): 125* vs India and 100 vs India
Brendon McCullum (New Zealand): 123 vs Bangladesh and 116* vs Australia

Here are some interesting statistics that the Kiwis achieved after this victory.

  1. Munro’s splendid ton that helped New Zealand score 243/5, saw the side achieve its highest ever T20I runs in an innings.
  2. Interestingly that is the 6th highest score by a side in international T20Is.
  3. With this splendid series win, the Kiwis have overtaken Pakistan as the No. 1 team in T20I cricket.
  4. The 119-run victory is the side’s highest margin of victory in the format and third highest overall.

Munro gave fans a special memory to remember and after the victory he said that he is enjoying the role as a top order batsman.  “I put it down to a little bit more freedom at the top – not hitting too many balls at training and then coming in here and trying to prove a point. It’s working well at the moment,” he said in the post-match conference.
Rightly so he does seem to enjoy his time out there after scoring 223 runs in the three matches of the series. The 30-year-old left hander has taken the game to a new level with a flair of shots and a strong presence of mind.
The Black Caps next face Pakistan in Wellington on Saturday in first of the five ODIs.

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