2nd Test Day 3: McCullum's ton keeps NZ afloat

  • Agnibesh Das, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 17, 2014 02:42 IST
  • Mohammed Shami bowls during day 3 of the 2nd Test against New Zealand at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. (AFP Photo)

    India vs New Zealand 2nd Test Day 3

    Mohammed Shami bowls during day 3 of the 2nd Test against New Zealand at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. (AFP Photo)

  • Mohammed Shami celebrates the wicket of New Zealand

    India vs New Zealand 2nd Test Day 3

    Mohammed Shami celebrates the wicket of New Zealand's Tom Latham during the second innings on day three of the second Test at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. (Reuters...

  • Zaheer Khan (C) high fives MS Dhoni after the latter took the catch to dismiss New Zealand’s Hamish Rutherford for 35 on the third day of the second Test at Basin Reserve in Wellington. (AP Photo)

    India vs New Zealand 2nd Test Day 3

    Zaheer Khan (C) high fives MS Dhoni after the latter took the catch to dismiss New Zealand’s Hamish Rutherford for 35 on the third day of the second Test at Basin Reserve...

  • Zaheer Khan (C) celebrates the wicket of New Zealand

    India vs New Zealand 2nd Test Day 3

    Zaheer Khan (C) celebrates the wicket of New Zealand's Hamish Rutherford during the second inning on day three of the second Test at the Basin Reserve in Wellington....

  • Ishant Sharma bowls during the second innings on day three of the second Test at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. (Reuters Photo)

    India vs New Zealand 2nd Test Day 3

    Ishant Sharma bowls during the second innings on day three of the second Test at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. (Reuters Photo)

  • Cheteshwar Pujara (R) stops a shot from New Zealand

    India vs New Zealand 2nd Test Day 3

    Cheteshwar Pujara (R) stops a shot from New Zealand's Brendon McCullum (L) during the second innings on day three of the second Test at the Basin Reserve in Wellington....

  • New Zealand

    India vs New Zealand 2nd Test Day 3

    New Zealand's BJ Watling plays a shot during the second innings on day three of the second Test against India at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. (Reuters Photo)

  • Brendon McCullum celebrates his 100 against India during the second innings on day three of the second Test at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. (Reuters Photo)

    India vs New Zealand 2nd Test Day 3

    Brendon McCullum celebrates his 100 against India during the second innings on day three of the second Test at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. (Reuters Photo)

  • Brendon McCullum hits a six during day 3 of the 2nd Test against India at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. (AFP Photo)

    India vs New Zealand 2nd Test Day 3

    Brendon McCullum hits a six during day 3 of the 2nd Test against India at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. (AFP Photo)

  • BJ Watling of New Zealand celebrates his 50 runs during day 3 of the 2nd Test against India at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. (AFP Photo)

    India vs New Zealand 2nd Test Day 3

    BJ Watling of New Zealand celebrates his 50 runs during day 3 of the 2nd Test against India at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. (AFP Photo)

Skipper Brendon McCullum brought up his 9th Test ton and BJ Watling got a patient half-century to give New Zealand a slender lead on Day 3 of the second Test at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.

McCullum (114*) and Watling (52*) stitched together a partnership of 158 for the sixth wicket, getting the hosts to 252/5 at stumps, a lead of six runs.

Not only was this McCullum's slowest ton in Tests so far, his innings was remarkably uncharacteristic, with the swashbuckling batsman keeping off the big shots and concentrating instead on building the innings.

Read: In good position to win the match, says Pujara

The Kiwi captain had a lucky day, being dropped twice, first by Virat Kohli at silly mid on when he was on 9 and then again by Ishant Sharma off his own bowling when he was on 36.

In the morning session, Zaheer Khan struck twice, helping India retain a grip over the second Test at the Basin Reserve. In the very first over of the day, Zaheer removed Kane Williamson (7), the in-form batsman who has got the better of the visitors time and again in the series. Zaheer's tight line and length paid off as Williamson tried to drive him on the up but ended up giving an easy catch to MS Dhoni behind the stumps.

Read: Rahane maiden ton puts India in command at Wellington on Day 2

A few overs later, he did an encore with Hamish Rutherford (35). This time, the ball straightened a touch and brushed past the edge of the Kiwi opener's defensive bat to Dhoni.

Mohammed Shami piled on trouble for the hosts, removing Tom Latham for 29. Latham too went fishing for a back-of-length delivery from Shami and nicked to Dhoni, the third batsman in the morning to do so.

Read:India vs New Zealand 2nd Test - Ishant's 6 puts India ahead on Day 1

McCullum tried to steady the boat with Corey Anderson, but that didn't last long. Anderson fell, trying to close the face of his bat to a delivery that did not spin, giving Ravindra Jadeja an easy catch off his own bowling.

Thereafter, the McCullum-Watling fightback kept India at bay.

New Zealand Second Innings:

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