McCullum scores double, Watling 100

02:17, Feb 17 2014
Black Caps v India 2nd Test
India's Ishant Sharma bowls during day one of the second international test cricket match against New Zealand at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.
Black Caps v India 2nd Test
India's players celebrate around New Zealand's Kane Williamson (C) during day one of the second international test cricket match at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.
Black Caps v India 2nd Test
India's Ishant Sharma falls over playing a shot during the first innings on day two of the second international test cricket match against New Zealand at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.
Black Caps v India 2nd Test
India's Ajinkya Rahane (L) and New Zealand's Trent Boult (C) watch Ravindra Jadeja's (R) shot during the first innings on day two of the second international test cricket match at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.
Black Caps v India 2nd Test
India's Ajinkya Rahane signals his century against New Zealand during the first innings on day two of the second international test cricket match at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.
Black Caps v India 2nd Test
New Zealand's BJ Watling makes his ground during the second innings on day three of the second international test cricket match against India at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.
Black Caps v India 2nd Test
India's Zaheer Khan (L) bowls to New Zealand's Brendon McCullum (unseen) during the second innings on day four of the second international test cricket match at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.
Black Caps v India 2nd Test
New Zealand's Brendon McCullum plays a shot against India during the second innings on day four of the second international test cricket match at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.
Black Caps v India 2nd Test
Zaheer Khan of India (L) celebrates his wicket of Hamish Rutherford of New Zealand (R) during day three of the 2nd Test match between New Zealand and India at the Basin Reserve.
Black Caps v India 2nd Test
Ravindra Jadeja of India appeals during day three of the 2nd Test match between New Zealand and India at the Basin Reserve.
Black Caps v India 2nd Test
Brendon McCullum of New Zealand ducks under a bouncer during day four of the 2nd Test match between New Zealand and India.
Black Caps v India 2nd Test
BJ Watling of New Zealand remains watchful during his innings on day four of the 2nd Test match between New Zealand and India.
Black Caps v India 2nd Test
BJ Watling of New Zealand celebrates his century during the second innings on day four of the second international test cricket against India.
Black Caps v India 2nd Test
Brendon McCullum of New Zealand acknowledges the crowd in celebration of his double century.
Brendon McCullum gallery
Brendon McCullum acknowledges the crowd as he leaves the field at the end of play on day four.
Black Caps v India second test
New Zealand's Brendon McCullum acknowledges his 200 against India during the second innings on day four of the second international test cricket match at the Basin Reserve.
Black Caps v India second test
New Zealand's BJ Watling (R) and India's Shikhar Dhawan (L) and MS Dhoni watch the ball during the second innings on day four of their second international test cricket match at the Basin Reserve.
Black Caps v India second test
New Zealand's Brendon McCullum plays a shot against India during the second innings on day four of the second international test cricket match at the Basin Reserve.
Black Caps v India second test
BJ Watling celebrates his century on Day 4 of the 2nd cricket test match at The Hawkins Basin Reserve. Wellington.
Black Caps v India second test
BJ Watling ducks a bouncer on Day 4 of the 2nd cricket test match at The Hawkins Basin Reserve.
Black Caps v India second test
Brendon McCullum ducks a bouncer on Day 4 of the 2nd cricket test match at The Hawkins Basin Reserve.
Black Caps v India second test
BJ Watling on Day 4 of the 2nd cricket test match at The Hawkins Basin Reserve. Wellington.
Black Caps v India second test
Brendon McCullum's father watches the match on Day 4 of the 2nd cricket test match at The Hawkins Basin Reserve.
Black Caps v India second test
Brendon McCullum at the end of the days play as Shikhar Dhawan congratulates him on Day 4 of the 2nd cricket test match at The Hawkins Basin Reserve.
McCullum the man
McCullum becomes the first New Zealander to score a Test Match triple century.

Brendon McCullum's second double century in consecutive tests, combined with staunch support from BJ Watling, has given New Zealand a fighting chance in the second cricket test against India at the Basin Reserve.

McCullum passed 200 with a four off Zaheer Khan.

An earlier four off Khan had brought McCullum to 199 before an excruciatingly-timed drinks break.

Brendon McCullum
MCCULLUM SOLID: The Black Caps have extended their lead over India in the first hour and half of play in Wellington.

The pair's unbeaten partnership of more than 300 runs has lasted more than 105 overs.

A short time ago New Zealand led by 157 runs with 5 wickets remaining.

Watling's century surely takes the prize for best supporting role. On 99, Watling hit a four off Khan to move to 103 in the 138th over. Watling scored his 100 off 297 balls.

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The pair etched their names further into New Zealand cricket's record books, with more magnificent batting at the Basin Reserve this morning.

The Black Caps were 347 for five at lunch, with five sessions left to play in this test match.

McCullum went to the interval unbeaten on 169 and Watling 90 not out, having registered the second-highest second innings partnership in New Zealand test history along the way.

Martin Crowe and Andrew Jones, with 467 against Sri Lanka here at the Basin in 1991, still lead the way. But McCullum and Watling have so far added 253 for the sixth-wicket and are now in sight of New Zealand's record partnership for any wicket against India.

Ross Taylor and Jesse Ryder, at Napier in 2009 currently enjoy that distinction.

It was again test match batting of the highest order from McCullum and Watling, mixing stout defence with an ability to cash in on anything loose.

They scored 95 runs in 28 overs this morning, having been much more subdued yesterday.

India also have to shoulder some responsibility for New Zealand's rapid progress this morning.

It took captain MS Dhoni barely two overs to go defensive, especially when McCullum was on strike. In real terms, the Black Caps were still basically five for 20 and yet there were no slips in place for the New Zealand skipper, with players instead placed in a ring of run-saving positions.

When you're in a dominant position like India was, and time and runs still weren't an issue, then it behoves you to attack. Boring batsmen out might be the default setting Indian captains return to in home conditions, but it won't wash here.

Dhoni's aims, whatever they were, weren't aided by his bowlers either.

Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami all looked likely at different times, but would then spear a ball down leg side or serve up a wide half-volley.

That allowed McCullum and Watling to tick the scoring over at a good rate and begin building something of a lead.

Given he'd batted just short of six hours, and appeared in pain for a lot of it, McCullum must've been a bit ginger when the morning began.

Attacking fields and persistent bowling surely would've made things tricky for him in the first hour or so. But once he'd felt the ball in the middle of his bat a couple of times McCullum looked a lot more free in his movements.

Grabbing the initiative in any day of cricket is critical and India gave it away without even a tussle.

The fields to Watling were generally more attacking, but that couldn't stop him tucking and nudging balls away with freedom.

This game is still India's to lose. But they risk defeat becoming an unnecessary possibility by simply sitting and waiting for McCullum and Watling to give their wickets away.

Fairfax Media