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2nd Test Live! McCullum, Watling defy India, help NZ take lead

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February 16, 2014


New Zealand: 192 & 252-5 (99 overs)
India: 438

Brendon McCullum (114 not out) and BJ Watling (52 not out) have batted two full sessions to ensure New Zealand won't have to face the ignominy of an innings defeat. 

The duo have added 158 runs for the sixth wicket, a record for New Zealand against India, to ensure the home team a recovery from a precarious 94 for five and make India bat for a second time. 

New Zealand end Day III on 252 for five, a lead of six runs. More importantly, they have five wickets left to build on a sizable second innings score and make it tough for India.

New Zealand: 192 & 250-5 (95 overs)
India: 438

McCullum and Watling have now put together 139 runs. It is the best sixth wicket partnership for New Zealand against India, besting the effort of Craig McMillan and Chris Cairns in the 1998-99 Boxing Day Test in this very ground. 

A couple off Ishant helps Watling complete a well-deserved half century. The couple also ensures the 150-run partnership for the sixth wicket. 

A boundary by McCullum in the next Ishant over helps New Zealand take the lead. Yes, India will bat again.  Another couple in the over helps the home team get to the 250-run mark.

New Zealand: 192 & 230-5 (88 overs)
India: 438

Zaheer is taken off after just two overs and Ishant replaces him in the 85th over. Watling survives a loud leg before appeal in the over. 

In Ishant's second over McCullum survives a leg before appeal before smashing a huge six off the next ball to bring up his ninth Test hundred, his fourth against India.

New Zealand: 192 & 213-5 (83 overs)
India: 438

In other news, New Zealand has announced its squad for the World T20 in Bangladesh next month. And there's no place for the errant Jesse Ryder. 

Kane Williamson takes his place instead. 

The new ball is a taken in the 81st over. Zaheer to bowl. It's an average first over from him. 

Mohammed Shami to bowl the second over. McCullum smashes the first ball to the fence, the shot helping New Zealand get past the 200-run mark. 

Another couple in the over helps McCullum reach the 5,000-run mark in Tests, the fourth New Zealand batsman to reach the milestone after Martin Crowe (5444), John Wright (5334) and Stephen Fleming (7172).

New Zealand: 192 & 193-5 (79 overs)
India: 438

Zaheer bowls a beauty in his third over after tea, squaring up Watling. However, the ball gets to no man's land, with the batsman running two much to the frustration of the bowler. 

Mohammed Shami into the attack, replacing Zaheer, in the 71st over. 

McCullum and Watling have now put together a 100-run stand for the sixth wicket. This partnership has come in as relief for New Zealand.

New Zealand: 192 & 146-5 (68 overs)
India: 438

Zaheer starts the proceedings after tea. It's a good first over from him, just a single coming off it. 

Jadeja to continue. He also concedes a single. However, in the spinner's second over McCullum sweeps him to the leg side boundary to complete a well-deserved fifty. 

It is the New Zealand captain's 29th Test fifty, his third against India. And it has been a resilient innings, quite uncharacteristic from someone who is essentially an attacking batsman.

New Zealand: 192 & 146-5 (64 overs)
India: 438

McCullum is lucky a third, rather second, time (when on 36) as Ishant puts him down on his follow through. 

Zaheer is back into the attack, replacing Ishant (15-1-40-0) in the 57th over. McCullum smashes his first ball to the fence. Classy shot this. 

Watling (on 19) survives a run out. NZ can ill-afford this at this stage. He recovers to hit a boundary of Jadeja, one that helps raise the 50-run partnership for the sixth wicket. 

New Zealand are exactly 100 runs behind as tea is taken after the 64th over. The second session produced just 61 runs for the home team, but more importantly, they lost just one wicket. 

New Zealand: 192 & 130-5 (54 overs)
India: 438

McCullum and Watling are doing a good job here. The NZ captain has curbed his natural instincts while the keeper hasn't given his wicket away. 

There's a lot for this two to do if New Zealand is to make India bat again, i.e., avoid an innings defeat. An NZ win is, of course, out of question now. 

Dhoni has lent a helping hand, dropping McCullum (on 34) off Ishant. Or did it drop short?

In any case, Dhoni's strategy of not having a slip for McCullum isn't exactly working.

New Zealand: 192 & 113-5 (45 overs)
India: 438

A boundary off Shami, by McCullum, helps New Zealand gets past the 100-run mark in the 43rd over. 

They still have a mountain to climb, needing 150-odd runs to make India bat again. And it is their captain who will have to take a bulk of the responsibility.

Ishant to bowl for the first time after lunch, in the 45th over. He starts of with a big no ball, one that is dispatched to the fence by Watling.

New Zealand: 192 & 94-5 (38 overs)
India: 438

Corey Anderson is the new batsman in. He doesn't survive for long. 

Jadeja catches him off his own bowling. It was a soft dismissal, with the batsman looking for spin that wasn't there. 

New Zealand lose their fifth wicket and inch closer to an innings defeat.

BJ Watling, who has been totally out of form, is the new batsman in.

New Zealand: 192 & 85-4 (34.1 overs)
India: 438

Zaheer's first spell figures (8-3-21-2) make for a wonderful reading. His replacement starts off with some misfortune.

Virat Kohli puts down Brendon McCullum (on nine), Mohammad Shami being the unlucky bowler. A rather silly attempt by Kohli at silly mid-on.

Spin is introduced for the first time in the 30th over. 

Ravindra Jadeja replaces Ishant (9-1-23-0) in the attack. It's a maiden from him first up. He gives away just two runs in his second over.

Just before lunch, India get another vital breakthrough when Shami has Latham (29) caught behind. The debutant faced 64 balls and hit three boundaries, while helping his captain add 35 runs for the fourth wicket. 

However, his dismissal came in at the worst possible time for New Zealand, the home team going into lunch precariously placed at 87 for four.

New Zealand: 192 & 73-3 (25 overs)
India: 438

Captain Brendon McCullum comes out to bat with his team in all sorts of trouble. 

Ishant replaces Shami (7-0-26-0) in the attack in the 22nd over. In his fourth ball, McCullum gets a single, his first runs after facing 14 balls. 

The pace of the New Zealand innings has expectedly slowed down. But just as we say this Latham hits successive boundaries off Zaheer.

New Zealand: 192 & 52-3 (17 overs)
India: 438

Tom Latham is the new batsman in. The debutant avoids a pair with a couple off Ishant.

Rutherford also starts the day well, first with a boundary through covers off Ishant followed by another boundary off Zaheer.

India introduce Mohammad Shami into the attack early on. Rutherford welcomes him with a nice half-volley in his second over. Another couple by Latham in the same over helps New Zealand get to the 50-run mark.

However, Zaheer gives India another reason to smile, having Rutherford (35) caught behind. New Zealand is giving up here sans a fight.

New Zealand: 192 & 27-1 (10 overs)
India: 438

Good Morning!!!

Welcome to the live coverage of the third day's play of the second and final Test between New Zealand and India at the Basin Reserve, Wellington. 

The home team has a lot of work to the do, with the visitors clearly in the driver's seat. 

Hamish Rutherford and Kane Williamson walk out to bat. Ishant Sharma to start the proceedings for India. Three runs come off the first over. 

Zaheer to bowl the second over. He strikes with his fourth ball, having Williamson (7) caught behind. Big blow for New Zealand this, and a big scalp for India early on.