Riding a record sixth wicket partnership between Brendon McCullum and BJ Watling, New Zealand cruised to 571 for six at stumps on Day 4 of the Wellington Test, taking a 325-run lead over India.
With the New Zealand skipper posting his first 250-plus score, the visitors, who were sniffing a victory with an innings to spare, will now have to fight to save the second Test. India are 0-1 down in the two-match series.
McCullum (281*) and Watling (124) took the hosts to a comfortable position, stitching up 352 runs for the sixth wicket, the highest by any pair in Test cricket.
McCullum ton keeps NZ afloat on Day 3
New Zealand batted the entire day, as Indian bowlers managed to make little impact. McCullum was patient. He stayed away from the big shots and concentrated on innings building.
He had good support at the other end from Watling, who scored his third Test ton that helped the hosts fight back. New Zealand were 94 for five on Day 3 following two strikes by Zaheer Khan when Watling came out to bat.
Mohammed Shami finally broke through when he trapped Watling in front of the the wicket in the last session, soon after the third new ball was taken. Shami pitched the ball on the length and got it to move in sharply to the right hander. Watling tried to play it off his pads, missed it and was given LBW.
The strike did not break the momentum of the hosts. McCullum, now with Jimmy Neesham (67*) at the crease, kept things going. Neesham got his maiden Test half century and the duo scored a quickfire 100-run partnership, keeping the team firmly in control.
On Day 3, McCullum brought up his 9th Test ton to get the team back into the match. 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.
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