McCullum mauls Pakistan

But the day’s play was marred by a muted atmosphere after the passing of Australia’s Phillip Hughes. Neither set of players celebrated taking wickets and there was a tearful tribute to Hughes beforehand.??

McCullum soon asserted his authority on proceedings though,??completing his tenth hundred off 78 balls and reaching 153 before bad light ended play with New Zealand 249-1, a strong position with just 102 runs away from Pakistan’s first innings total of 351.

McCullum hit eight sixes – four off left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar – and 17 boundaries as New Zealand rattled the total in just 45 overs.

In the penultimate over before tea, he hit four boundaries in one paceman Mohammad Talha over before two quick singles completed his hundred.

This was the fastest hundred ever by a New Zealand batsman, beating the 81-ball hundred Ross Taylor made against Australia at Hamilton in 2010.

Kane Williamson also made 198 (seven fours and a six off 96 balls)??for the unfinished second wicket stand which gave New Zealand a strong position to level a series which they trail 1-0.

Earlier, off-spinner Mark Craig took a career best 7-94 as Pakistan lost their last seven wickets for 70 runs to get bowled out for 351 after resuming at 281-3, squandering a strong position on a flat Sharjah stadium pitch.

Opener Mohammad Hafeez hit a career best 197 before he miscued a pull off leg-spinner Ish Sodhi and was caught at deep square-leg.

But the day belonged to Hughes’ memory after yesterday’s play was postponed out of respect.