Zee Media Bureau/Chaitan Papnai
Third day of the second and final Test was a mix bag for both the teams. If the first session of the day belonged to the visitors, the second was certainly dominated by the home side. When NZ resumed from their overnight score of 24 for one, in their second innings, they lost three wickets in quick succession. Within a few overs after lunch, they were reeling at 94 for five. But then skipper McCullum and wicketkeeper BJ Watling added unbeaten 158-run stand for the sixth wicket to take the lead of six runs. Highlight of today's play was undoubtedly McCullum's ninth international ton. But India still have an upper hand in the match.
Over 99 || Score 252/5
At stumps, New Zealand have managed to take the lead of six runs in their second innings and still have five wickets in hand. Kiwi skipper McCullum played a captain's knock today by scoring a unbeaten hundred and added record 158-run partnership with BJ Watling for the sixth wicket to keep the second and final match of the series alive. Wicketkeeper, BJ Watling is also unbeaten on 52. India still have an upper hand on the match but they have to take those five wickets cheaply tomorrow’s morning to seal the match to level the series 1-1.
Over 95 || Score 250/5
BJ Watling has also completed his fifty in 190 balls, with the help of four fours. The NZ wicketkeeper is playing a crucial knock for his team along with skipper McCullum. Indian seamers are not looking as sharp as they were in the first session of today's play. Meanwhile, the home side has crossed the mark of 250 runs and have taken a lead of four runs in their second innings. India bowlers have to strike now to break this partnership between Watling and McCullum.
Over 90 || Score 239/5
McCullum has completed his hundred in style by smashing Ishant Sharma for a six over long on in the 88th over. He scored his hundred in 196 balls, studded with twelve fours and a six. It's his ninth international Test ton and it couldn't have come at a better time. In between Watling and McCllum have added more than 139 runs, which is now the highest sixth wicket partnership for NZ against India. NZ are now trailing by mere seven runs. And Watling is just one run short of his fifty.
Over 86 || Score 221/5
It's high time India break this sixth-wicket partnership which is getting robust with every passing over. New Zealand skipper has started to cut-loose and is collecting boundaries every now and then. Even the new ball is not doing much for Indian seamers. McCullum is just six runs away from his hundred. What a knock he has been playing for his team. Now the home side is trailing by mere 25 runs. India desperately need a breakthrough here.
Over 82 || Score 209/5
McCullum and Watling have completed hundred-run partnership for the sixth wicket in the 80th over. They used 254 balls to add those hundred runs and certainly are playing crucial knocks for their team after their top order got collapsed. Meanwhile, NZ have crossed the mark of 200 runs as well. At one stage, Kiwis were reeling at 94 for five and from there to 209 for five, they have surely come a long way. In between McCullum smashed Zaheer for a boundary in the 82nd over to cross the mark of 5000 Test runs and has become the fourth New Zealand player to achieve the feat.
Over 75 || Score 183/5
Both the batsmen in the middle – McCullum and BJ Watling -- are playing sensible cricket at the moment. They are playing seamers as well as spinners equally well and have already added sixty runs for the sixth wicket. Watling is just nine runs short of his fifty, whereas Mcullum is playing on 63. But the home side is still trailing by 60-odd runs. Dhoni is juggling his bowlers well and now it's time for India to break this partnership which is looking slightly dangerous now.
Over 69 || Score 165/5
When New Zealand resumed their second innings from 24 for one on day three of the second and final Test, they lost their two wickets in quick succession. First Zaheer got the crucial wicket of Kane Williamson in the second over of the day and then within a few overs Zaheer stuck again when he got the better of H Rutherford. With two early wickets India pushed the home side on the back-foot. But then Lathem and skipper McCullum tried to give some solidity to the team but just before going for lunch, Shami provided India another breakthrough in the form of T Latham. Coming back from lunch spinner Jadeja took no time to sent the dangerous Corey Anderson back to the pavilion to kept the Kiwis reeling at 94 for five at one stage. But since then McCullum and BJ Watling added 71 runs for the sixth wicket. Meanwhile, the NZ skipper has completed his fifty and is playing a captains knock. But NZ is still at the back-foot as they are trailing by 81 runs.
CJ Anderson c & b Jadeja 2 (6b)
TWM Latham c Dhoni b Mohammed Shami 29 (64b)
HD Rutherford c Dhoni b Khan 35 (55b)
KS Williamson c Dhoni b Khan 7 (22b)
Wellington: Ajinkya Rahane cracked his maiden ton as India dished out a dominant batting display to take a massive 246-run lead and put themselves in the drivers` seat over New Zealand on the second and final cricket Test here on Saturday. Rahane, playing in his fifth Test, struck a classy 118 which he made from 158 deliveries with the help of 17 fours and a six as India scored 438 all out on the second day in reply to New Zealand`s 192 on a Basin Reserve pitch which has considerably eased out in favour of batsmen.
Pacer Zaheer Khan then dismissed opener Peter Fulton for just one as New Zealand ended the day on 24 for one, still trailing by 222 runs with nine second innings wickets in hand. The other opener Hamish Rutherford and in-form Kane Williamson were at the crease on 18 and four respectively at the draw of stumps.