Captain Brendon McCullum became the fourth New Zealander to pass 5000 runs as his ninth test century gave the hosts a chance of saving the second and final cricket test against India in Wellington.
McCullum was unbeaten on 114 at stumps on day three at the Basin Reserve as New Zealand reached 252-5 off 99 overs in their second innings, a lead of six runs.
Wicketkeeper BJ Watling was still there on 52 as the pair added a vital 158 for the sixth wicket, although New Zealand need to bat right through tomorrow to make the series safe after arriving at the Basin Reserve 1-0 up.
India remain on top, with Jimmy Neesham the only recognised batsman remaining, but the momentum shifted markedly with the gritty fightback.
The pair came together at a precarious 94-5 after Indian veteran Zaheer Khan ripped through the New Zealand top order, then Corey Anderson was removed cheaply to a leading edge off Ravindra Jadeja’s spin.
McCullum had luck, dropped on nine and 36, the second a chest-high return chance to Ishant Sharma. He made then tourists pay after grinding to his half-century off 146 balls with a disciplined, patient display.
His second 50 rattled up off 51 deliveries, including some masterful cover drives off Mohammed Shami and a booming pull shot for six to raise three figures, off Sharma. It was his ninth ton and third of the home summer, in his 84th test.
When McCullum reached 83 he became the fourth New Zealander to 5000 test runs, after Stephen Fleming (7172), Martin Crowe (5444) and John Wright (5334).
McCullum and Watling also topped New Zealand’s sixth wicket record stand against India, 137 by Chris Cairns and Craig McMillan on the same ground 15 years ago.
Watling rarely offered the Indian bowlers a chance and raised 50 off 190 balls, in 230 minutes.
Zaheer had figures of 3-60 off 25 overs at stumps while Sharma, who snared six New Zealand scalps on day one, was wicketless off 23 overs
Day three of the second test at the Basin Reserve, Wellington:
First innings 192
Second innings (24-1 overnight)
P Fulton lbw b Zaheer 1
H Rutherford c Dhoni b Zaheer 35
K Williamson c Dhoni b Zaheer 7
T Latham c Dhoni b Shami 29
B McCullum not out 114
C Anderson c and b Jadeja 2
B Watling not out 52
Extras (b 2, lb 6, nb 4) 12
Total (for 5 wkts, 99 overs) 252
Fall: 1, 27, 52, 87, 94.
Bowling: I Sharma 23-3-63-0 (4nb), Zaheer Khan 25-8-60-3, M Shami 25-4-72-1, R Jadeja 26-6-49-1.
First innings 438
- © Fairfax NZ News
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