Craig Douglas McMillan
Born: 13 September 1976, Christchurch
Major Teams: New Zealand
Batting Style: Right Hand Bat
Bowling Style: Right Arm Medium
A player may get a hundred or a bowler may take five wickets. But
in one day cricket, sometimes these are not the most crucial factors.
A spell of three wickets in ten deliveries at a vital juncture or
an unbeaten half century when everything seems lost for your side
may prove to be decisive. And this was proved by Craig McMillan in
the ICC KnockOut tournament semifinal between New Zealand and Pakistan on
Just consider the tension filled situation that McMillan handled adroitly.
In reply to Pakistan's 252, New Zealand had lost their third wicket at 150
in the 31st over when he entered. And he had not even settled down yet when
in quick succession, he lost Roger Twose, Adam Parore and Chris Harris. By
the 38th over, New Zealand had slid to 187 for six and the pendulum had
swung Pakistan's way. New Zealand has this tradition of choking at vital
moments of a big match and in fact before Wednesday, had never entered the
final of a major tournament.
McMillan did the most to change this well oiled script. With a series of
aggressive shots, he wrested the initiative. First New Zealand clawed back
into the game and then as McMillan and Styris kept their composure against
Saqlain Mushtaq and Wasim Akram, always dangerous bowlers at the death,
they inched their side towards victory. For all the gallant efforts of
Styris, there was little doubt that McMillan led the fightback at the
critical juncture. He handled the pressure situation in exemplary fashion,
going for his strokes boldly and finding the gaps for the important singles
and twos. The two added 68 priceless runs for the seventh wicket off 11.1
overs. McMillan's unbeaten 51 off 56 balls with the help of three fours
certainly played a major role in New Zealand's unexpected triumph.