Zee Media Bureau/Chaitan Papnai
Day four of second and final Test certainly belonged to the home side as they finally managed to get the crucial lead of 325 runs and still have four wickets in hand. Kiwi skipper batted the entire day and made sure that his team come back strongly. But the highlight of the day was undoubtedly the record-breaking sixth wicket stand of 352 runs between NZ skipper McCullum and BJ Watling (124). Now all three results are possible in the match.
Over 189 || Score 571/6
At stumps of crucial day four of the second and last Test, NZ got the crucial lead of 325 runs and they still have four wickets in hand. NZ made a solid comeback in the game with the help of record breaking 352-run stand for the sixth wicket between skipper McCullum and BJ Watling. McCullum remained unbeaten on 281 along with Neesham to get on top of the game.
Over 186 || Score 565/6
Neesham and McCullum have completed the hundred-run stand for the seventh wicket in no time, as they used mere 138 balls. Meanwhile, Neesham has completed his first Test fifty in the 185th over. NZ have also crossed the mark of 550 in their second innings to drag their lead to 319 runs. McCullum is still unbeaten on 280.
Over 180 || Score 530/6
Another sign of worry for India as even after playing on 270 plus the NZ skipper is still looking fresh at the crease. Now the match is being perfectly poised, as both the teams have equal chances of winning the game. India desperately need a win here to level the series and to end the NZ tour on a positive end, whereas the home side would be looking for a clean sweep. Meanwhile, NZ swelled their lead to 284.
Over 175 || Score 509/6
After making a record sixth-wicket stand with MJ Watling, McCullum has now completed a fifty run-partnership with Neesham for the seventh wicket. Meanwhile, NZ have crossed the mark of 500 runs as well to take their lead to over 260. Neesham is playing on 31 whereas skipper McCullum is batting on 258.
Over 170 || Score 493/6
McCullum completed his 250-run mark in style with a huge six off Shami over the mid-wicket region in the 169th over. India have been paying a heavy price for dropping the NZ skipper early on in his innings. And now the lead is of 247 runs. After dominated the proceedings for first two days, India are now loosing their grip on the match.
Over 167 || Score 480/6
After the fall of sixth wicket, Jimmy Neesham is the next man in for New Zealand. But dangerous McCullum is still at the crease. India have to scalp the rest four wickets quickly now, as the lead has already crossed 230 runs. Neesham has started scoring boundaries at will now. Anything more than 250 would be a challenging total for the visitors.
Over 162 || Score 207/6
In the morning, when the home side resumed from their overnight score of 252 for five in the second innings, with a lead of six runs, NZ skipper McCullum and wicketkeeper BJ Watling continued their scintillating partnership and haven`t given a single chance to the Indian team to celebrate till lunch. By then McCullum crossed the mark of 150 and Watling was on 90. Even after lunch they kept scoring runs with an ease. First, Watling completed his ton by clipping Shami for a boundary in the 137th over and then McCullum completed his double ton in style by flicking Shami for a boundary in the 144th over. It`s his third double ton. What a knock from the skipper. Both of them have done a record partnership for the sixth wicket by adding 352 runs. Finally, when India took the new ball Shami gave India the much needed breakthrough by getting the wicket of Watling. Watling scored impressive 124 runs before getting out. Now the lead is of 207 and the homes side still have four wickets in hand.
BJ Watling lbw b Mohammed Shami 124 (367b)
Wellington: India continued to enjoy the upperhand in the second and final cricket Test against New Zealand despite a fighting unbeaten century from home team captain Brendon McCullum, who led a spirited fightback on an absorbing third day, here on day 3.
McCullum pulled the team out of early trouble and made full use of two reprieves to battle his way to 114 not out off 237 balls and together with BJ Watling, who scored an equally important 52 off 208 balls, led a brilliant fightback to keep New Zealand afloat. McCullum, who was dropped twice early on in his knock, and Watling stitched unbroken 158 runs for the sixth wicket to guide New Zealand to 252 for five in 99 overs at stumps on the third day after they lost their five wickets for just 94 runs. The pitch on offer today at the Basin Reserve was a far cry from the juicy green surface of the first day and was a perfect platform for New Zealand to wipe out the huge deficit after India made 438 in their first innings in reply to the hosts` 192.