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Controversy mars Brendon McCullum's final ODI as Kiwis win series vs Australia

A bizarre and controversial off-the-toe catch by Matt Henry brought a fairytale end to Brendon McCullum's ODI career when New Zealand beat Australia by 55 runs in Hamilton on Monday

Hamilton: Brendon McCullum marked his last one-day international for New Zealand with a match and series victory over Australia on Monday. 

McCullum's farewell seemed likely to be soured by a couple of incidents. The first was a dramatic batting collapse which saw New Zealand lose its last six wickets for 23 runs to be all out for 246, but the bowlers dismissed Australia for 191 with more than six overs to spare, winning by 55 runs to clinch a 2-1 series victory. 

Australia's Mitchell Marsh (L) and Matthew Wade (3rd L) with Brendon McCullum of New Zealand (3rd R) await the umpires decision during the third ODI between New Zealand and Australia at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Monday. Pic/AFP

Australia had been on target for victory when on 164-5 but the controversial dismissal of Mitch Marsh exposed the tail and New Zealand's bowlers quickly wrapped up the win. 

All-rounder Marsh, who took 3-34 in Black Cap innings, appeared well-set on 41 with his side 164-5 in the 34th over before he hit a delivery back to Henry.

Henry half-heartedly appealed for a caught but it was turned down. It wasn't until the incident was replayed on the big TV screen at Seddon Park that the spectators saw the ball had come off Marsh's boot and began to boo.

Umpires Ian Gould and Derek Walker then referred it to the third umpire for a review. Slow-motion cameras showed the ball had not hit the ground before Henry took the catch and the third umpire gave March out, which caused an angry outburst from Marsh and his batting partner Matthew Wade. The duo questioned whether the matter could be referred to replay if none of the New Zealand players appealed and the umpire on the ground had not given a decision.

"It wasn't until we saw something on the big screen that the decision went upstairs so I was a bit disappointed about that," Australia captain Steve Smith said. 

"He was out, there was no doubt about that, but if I get hit on the pad next time and it's missing leg do I stand there and wait until it's going to show that on the big screen."

McCullum produced a signature innings on his farewell, hitting 47 runs from 27 balls to give New Zealand a bold beginning as it batted after losing the toss. He hit three sixes to lift his tally to 200 sixes in 260 one-day internationals, placing him fourth on the all-time list behind Shahid Afridi (351), Sanath Jayasuriya (270) and Chris Gayle (238).

But after Martin Guptill made 59 and Grant Elliott a laborious 50, New Zealand's frail middle order tottered and then collapsed, slumping from 223-4 to be all out for 246 in the 46th over.

The total seemed inadequate, especially when Australia started strongly with Usman Khawaja making 44. New Zealand's bowling attack was depleted by the absence of fast bowler Trent Boult, who was ill, and allrounder Mitchell Santner, who has a foot injury.

But Henry led the attack superbly, taking 3-60, including the wickets of David Warner (16), George Bailey (33) and Marsh. Ish Sodhi, who replaced Santner, dismissed Smith (21) and Glenn Maxwell (0) and Doug Bracewell, who replaced Boult, removed Khawaja. 

McCullum was able to savor a last and memorable win over New Zealand's greatest rival.

"I've been incredibly lucky to play for 14 years and to represent my country and to play with some great blokes," he said. 

"When you play against Australia you have to turn up and play your best cricket and tonight for 80 percent of the game we were outstanding." 

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