New Zealand have won their first test series over India since 2002, and they have their captain to thank for it.
India had this game as good as won on day three when they reduced the Black Caps to 94 for five in their second innings at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. But in walked Brendon McCullum, who, with the help of wicketkeeper BJ Watling and debutant all-rounder Jimmy Neesham, posted New Zealand's highest ever test innings score of 680/8.
In doing so, McCullum broke the record for the highest test innings score by a Kiwi batsman - eclipsing Martin Crowe's 299 - with his well compiled 302. He was at the crease for nearly 13 hours - another NZ test batting record.
The draw in this match, along with the 40-run NZ win in the first test at Eden Park, meant the tourists have now gone 14 tests without a win away from home, and they might rue some of the defensive tactics employed on day four.
Today's match ended 15 overs early, with India 144 for three, having been set a purely nominal 435 in 67 overs.
It was a bit of a flat way to say goodbye to the summer, but should in no way detract from the outstanding batting contributions made by Brendon McCullum, BJ Watling and Jimmy Neesham in New Zealand's second innings.
McCullum will enjoy hero status for a while and rightly so. But his was not a lone hand.
Watling came into the second innings with little form behind him. He left it with his reputation as a fighter thoroughly intact, having scored 124 and joined McCullum in a world record partnership for the sixth wicket of 352.
Neesham, meanwhile, looks a quality cricketer after scoring an unbeaten 137.
His former New Zealand under-19 team-mate Corey Anderson might be better known and gone for a bigger price in the Indian Premier League auction, but Neesham's time will come.
Having played the longest innings by a New Zealand test batsman, McCullum wasn't about to hand India a rare overseas victory.
Often a gambler, the captain made a conservative declaration which was always likely to consign this match to a draw.
From where New Zealand was in all of the first three days, that's as good as a victory.
Day five of the second test at the Basin Reserve, Wellington:
First innings 192
Second innings (571-6 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 c Dhoni b Zaheer 302
C Anderson c and b Jadeja 2
B Watling lbw b Shami 124
J Neesham not out 137
T Southee c Pujara b Zaheer 11
N Wagner not out 2
Extras (b 9, lb 12, wd 2, nb 7) 30
Total (for 8 wkts dec, 210 overs) 680
Fall: 1, 27, 52, 87, 94, 446, 625, 639.
Bowling: I Sharma 45-4-164-0 (6nb), Zaheer Khan 51-13-170-5 (2w), M Shami 43-6-149-2, R Jadeja 52-11-115-1, R Sharma 11-0-40-0, V Kohli 6-1-13-0 (1nb), M Dhoni 1-0-5-0, S Dhawan 1-0-3-0.
First innings 438
Second innings (target: 435)
M Vijay c Anderson b Southee 7
S Dhawan lbw b Boult 2
C Pujara c Watling b Southee 17
V Kohli not out 105
R Sharma not out 31
Extras (wd 2, nb 2) 4
Total (for 3 wkts, 52 overs) 166
Fall: 10, 10, 54.
Bowling: T Boult 16-5-47-1 (1nb), T Southee 16-3-50-2, N Wagner 11-3-38-0, J Neesham 5-0-25-0 (2w, 1nb), C Anderson 4-1-6-0.
Series: New Zealand won two-test series 1-0.
Man of the match: Brendon McCullum.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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