Jordie Barrett, Brendon McCullum lead Team Rugby to Black Clash T20 triumph

Team Rugby's Richie McCaw takes a sharp catch to dismiss Stephen Fleming in the Black Clash T20 match.

Captain Kieran Read and his Team Rugby team-mates will dine out on this victory for some time.

Team Rugby, laden with All Blacks, upset heavily fancied Team Cricket by five wickets in the inaugural Black Clash T20 cricket match in front of a packed crowd of more than 7000 at Christchurch’s Hagley Oval on Friday.

Read hoisted the Lomu-Crowe trophy aloft and his side won’t be shy in reminding Stephen Fleming’s Team Cricket, packed full of former Black Caps, about this result in the coming weeks, and months.Needing 37 from the final four overs with six wickets in hand, Team Rugby looked to be cruising with the aggressive Brendon McCullum blazing away.

When former Black Caps captain McCullum was well held at deep square leg by Grant Elliott for 48 from 32 balls, there was still plenty of work to do with 34 required.

Jordie Barrett thumped All Blacks team-mate Aaron Smith for back-to-back sixes to inch closer to their target of 169. He finished with a match-winning knock of 42 not out off 26 balls as Team Rugby got home with five balls left.

If there was any animosity between the sides before the first ball it wasn’t obvious with several Team Cricket members running through backline moves with the All Blacks. Former All Black lock Ali Williams was even involved in a lineout lift, before quickly shifting his attention to the middle.

Some feared this clash of the codes would descend into a cringe-worthy hit and giggle-fest, but it proved a competitive showing for the most part with few freebies dished up with the ball.

Brendon McCullum looks to get after one for Team Rugby in their run chase.

Set 169 to win, Team Rugby’s run chase started badly with opener Kieran Read, departing for two, held at square leg by Kyle Mills off James Franklin’s bowling.

Franklin struck again with the next ball of his second over with former Australian batsman David Hussey chopping on. That brought star attraction McCullum to the middle, wearing a red cap, rather than helmet.

McCullum survived Franklin’s hat-trick delivery, who turned to spin, targeting a possible weakness in the big-hitting batsman’s game.

Usual offspinner Nathan McCullum charged in with a seamer with his first delivery to brother Brendon, evoking memories of their backyard battles in South Dunedin growing up.

Beauden Barrett hit a quickfire 26 opening the innings for Team Rugby.

Nathan McCullum ended opener Beauden Barrett’s 26-run cameo, also dragging onto his stumps.

Dual-code talent Kaylum Boshier, the New Zealand captain at last year’s under-19 Cricket World Cup, blasted a quickfire 30, teaming up for a useful partnership alongside McCullum.

Team Cricket produced a throwback to the late 1990s, 2000s with former Black Caps ODI opening duo, captain Fleming and the destructive Nathan Astle starting out with the bat.

It was an inauspicious beginning for Team Rugby with All Blacks great Richie McCaw guilty of a misfield at gully with the first ball of the match.

All Blacks Jordie Barrett and Israel Dagg opened with the ball, but weren’t impeccable with their line and length, both spraying two wides in their respective opening overs. Dagg, who was clocked at 140kmh in his secondary school days, was miserly with the ball, conceding just 11 runs off his three overs.

Captain Kieran Read reacts for Team Rugby during their run chase.

McCaw was quick to atone for his misfield, running backwards and taking a sharp catch over his shoulder at square leg to remove Fleming for six in Barrett’s first over.

“A bit of a fluke, probably, to be honest. It’s one of those catches if it came straight up in the air and down your throat, that’s when the pressure goes on,” McCaw said

“I thought, if I got that, then it didn’t matter what else I did for the day, at least you’ve done something decent.”

Fleming should have been on his way in the first over from Dagg, struck plumb in front of his stumps, but somehow survived.

Team Cricket clearly worked on their fielding in the lead-up to the game with the man, who replaced McCaw as All Blacks captain, Read, taking another impressive grab.

Read teamed up in McCaw’s first over of left-arm military mediums, taking a fine catch running back at mid-off to remove the dangerous Astle for 14. Astle had been dropped just prior in the deep by Jordie Barrett off Boshier’s bowling.

Elliott, the hero of New Zealand’s nailbiting semifinal victory against South Africa at the 2015 Cricket World Cup, held the Team Cricket batting together, hitting a team-best 43.

Six days after tying the knot, newly married All Black star Beauden Barrett struck in his second over, forcing a mistake out of Elliott as he tried to accelerate the scoring.

Jordie Barrett took two wickets with the ball for Team Rugby.

McCullum, still playing on the T20 circuit with the Brisbane Heat in Australia, gifted Smith a life when he shelled a sitter on the boundary off McCaw’s bowling.

Smith didn’t last much longer, skying one up to Beauden Barrett to give McCaw his second wicket. Jordie Barrett wasn’t to be outdone by his older brother, removing Hamish Marshall with a brilliant direct hit from the outfield.


Team Cricket 168-8 in 20 overs (Grant Elliott 43, Chris Harris 24no, Luke Ronchi 16; Richie McCaw 2-31, Jordie Barrett 2-53) lost to Team Rugby 171-5 in 19.1 overs (Brendon McCullum 48, Jordie Barrett 42 no, Kaylum Boshier 30, Beauden Barrett 26; James Franklin 2-15) by five wickets.