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McCullum triple ton helps New Zealand pull off miraculous draw

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Brendon McCullum’s stupendous triple century at the Basin Reserve, Wellington, on day 5 of the 2nd and final Test match between New Zealand and India helped the hosts pull off what looked like an improbable recovery to save the Test Match. New Zealand, who were miles behind the eight-ball after conceding a massive 246 run first innings lead to India, were pulled out of deep waters by a fighting 352 run world record stand by McCullum and BJ Watling on day 4 of the Test, which helped the hosts put up a mammoth 680/8 in their second innings on a pitch that flattened out completely after day 2. India were then put into bat for 52 overs in their final innings and were in some stress at 10/2 early on but a stylish and brisk 105* from their star batsman Virat Kohli took them to safety at 166/3 at stumps on the final day.

Resuming the final day on 571/6, the Kiwis batted on for personal landmarks with Brendon McCullum not out on 280 whilst debutant James Neesham too was nearing a maiden Test ton. McCullum had some anxious moments prior to becoming the first New Zealand batsman to score a triple hundred but the resolute Kiwi captain went on to reach the milestone eventually before he was finally dismissed for 302, caught behind off Zaheer Khan. McCullum’s innings was the longest by a Kiwi batsman with over 13 hours at the crease, the kind of innings required to save the Test after the Kiwis fell too far behind in the game. New Zealand then went on to post 680/8 in pretty brisk fashion before lunch, thanks to Neesham’s 137* off just 154 balls, before putting India in.

India resumed post Lunch at 10/0 but were reduced to 10/2 pretty quickly as Dhawan fell for 2 to a dubious LBW call before Vijay(7) edged one to third slip. India’s most successful batsmen in the South Africa series, Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, then added 44 runs for the 3rd wicket before Pujara was dismissed for 17, caught behind hooking to a short delivery. Rohit Sharma then came out bat with plenty of grit and determination to make amends for his lazy duck in the first innings, and the Mumbai batsman stuck in with the rampant Kohli. Sharma made a solid 31 off 97 balls as he saw Kohli(105*) smash it to all parts and bring up a wonderful Hundred.   The duo added 112 unbeaten for the 4th wicket before both captains decided to call the match a draw ahead of the mandatory final hour of play.

The draw meant that the Kiwis win the series 1-0 to cap off a brilliant summer for them. While India have a few concerns with some departments of their game, they will be reasonably satisfied with the progress of some of their young guns, who are still very early into their Test Careers.

Mini Scorecard:

1st innings

New Zealand 192 all out (52.4 overs, 3.63 rpo)

K Williamson 47(100) I Sharma 6/51

J Neesham 33(35) M Shami 4/70

India 438 all out (102.4 overs, 4.26 rpo)

A Rahane 118(158) T Boult 3/99

S Dhawan 98(127) N Wagner 3/105

2nd innings

New Zealand 680/8 (210 overs, 3.23 rpo)

B McCullum 302 *(559) Zaheer Khan 5/170

J Neesham 137*(154)  M Shami 2/149

India 166/3 (52 overs,3.19 rpo)

V Kohli 105*(135) T Southee 2/50

R Sharma 31*(97) T Boult 1/47

Match Drawn