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Virat Kohli hit his sixth Test ton while Brendon McCullum became the first Kiwi to score a triple on Day 5 of the second Test at the Basin Reserve in Wellington as the match finished in a draw. With this, the hosts win the two match series 1-0.
Kohli (105*) was in supreme touch right from the moment go. He played some elegant cover drives. He continued to hook and pull, sometimes a bit too much, but these were controlled. His sixth Test century came with a copy book straight drive to the boundary.
The morning session, however, belonged to the hosts with the skipper scoring the highest by any batsman for the country - 302. Giving him company was overnight batsman Jimmy Neesham who made his Test debut with a sparkling century, finishing with 137 not out when the innings was declared. The two put up 179 runs between them for the seventh wicket.
Thanks to that partnership, and another one posted on Day 4 between McCullum and BJ Watling, the New Zealanders mounted a mammoth total of 680 runs in their second innings. They led by 434 runs and were firmly in control of a match that they had almost lost by an innings.
Zaheer Khan did get a five wicket haul, getting McCullum to edge to Dhoni in the process, but that came a bit too late in the day to do much good to the touring side.
The Indian batsmen took to the crease just before lunch and were in trouble two overs after the break, losing both openers in consecutive overs.
In the first over after lunch, Trent Boult removed Shikhar Dhawan (2), trapping him in front of the wicket. He got a few balls to move away from the left hander and then bowled a length delivery that did not. Dhawan failed to pick it, decided to shoulder arms to it but got hit on the pads for an LBW.
In the next over, Tim Southee got rid of Murali Vijay (7). Another good length delivery on the off stump shaped slightly away from the right handed Vijay and got an edge from his defensive bat to the slip.
India would have been in deeper trouble but for an umpiring howler. Kohli got quite a pronounced edge to the 'keeper off Trent Boult's bowling. The entire New Zealand team started celebrating but the umpire's finger never went up. Kohli did not walk and survived.
But soon thereafter, Kohli took charge and played well. He and Cheteshwar Pujara (17) stitched together a 44-run partnership. But the attempt to avoid further damage did not go far. Southee got Pujara to glove one to BJ Watling behind the stumps. He peppered Pujara with short balls around the off stump before brining one to the leg. The Indian batsman could not get his bat out of the way in time and edged to the keeper.
With the team in deep trouble, Rohit Sharma (31*) came out to bat. He showed uncharacteristic determination and stayed with Kohli till the end. The two put up a 112-run partnership to make sure the team suffered no more setbacks till the umpires, in consultation with the batting side, declared the match drawn. India had reached 166/3.
Live Commenatry, India Second Innings: