Captain Brendon McCullum dug in for the fight against India as his determined knock averted a New Zealand collapse on day three of the second cricket test in Wellington.
McCullum was 44 not out at tea, with wicketkeeper BJ Watling alongside on 24, as New Zealand reached 146-5 in their second innings, still trailing India by 100 runs.
The pair added an unbroken 52 for the sixth wicket, a badly needed stand for New Zealand who looked to be plummeting to a heavy defeat which would level the two-match series at 1-1.
Having lost debutant Tom Latham (29) just before lunch, New Zealand plunged into further strife after the break when allrounder Corey Anderson departed for two.
The left-hander tried to turn spinner Ravindra Jadeja into the on side but got a leading edge and offered a return catch. That made it 94-5 and defeat inside three days was looking a distinct prospect.
McCullum reined himself in and played a responsible knock with a few doses of good fortune.
He was dropped on nine by Virat Kohli at short mid-on, a one-handed attempt, then was also put down on 36 by paceman Ishant Sharma who overbalanced and couldn't hold a return chance at chest height.
The captain had batted 202 minutes and faced 138 deliveries at tea, including four boundaries in his innings.
Watling, meanwhile, proved a handy foil and survived another testing spell from Sharma who took 6-51 on day one but remained wicketless from 15 overs in the second innings. Zaheer Khan, who took the first three wickets to fall, had figures of 3-34.
New Zealand still need to bat the rest of today and probably all day tomorrow to have a chance of saving the test and winning the series.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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