Team India were denied a victory push by New Zealand on Day 3 of the second Test at Basin Reserve, Wellington. Catch all the highlights from the day's play, as it happened. (Match Scorecard | Text Commentary | Day 3 report)
FACTOID: Brendon McCullum has reached a Test 100 with a six on three occasions. No other Kiwi player has done it more than once. (Day 3 pics)
Kiwis lost three early wickets today and then one more in the second session. An innings defeat was on the cards but McCullum and Watling had different plans in their mind. They built a strong partnership between them. It brought New Zealand a lead in this match. India are still ahead in this game though as New Zealand are just leading by 6 runs as of now. McCullum scored a brilliant unbeaten ton while Watling scored a well-composed fifty. New Zealand will be hoping these two put on as many runs as still two days are remaining. India will be hoping for a better performance tomorrow, bowling New Zealand out quickly and chasing down the target without major trouble.
11:02 (IST) It's stumps and New Zealand are 252/5 (99 overs), lead by 6 runs with 5 wickets remaining. Kiwis scored 228 runs on Day 3 for the loss of 4 wickets.
10:53 (IST) With just a handful of overs to go through the day, Kiwi batsmen have seemingly dropped anchor and playing for the end of day's play. NZ 251/5, lead by 6.
10:47 (IST) McCullum has made Indians pay for the drop catches. Kohli dropped him on 9 and Ishant on 35.
10:40 (IST) New Zealand are ahead now. A streaky four by Brendon McCullum off Ishant Sharma helps the Kiwis wipe out the 246-run deficit. NZ 250/5, lead by 4.
10:34 (IST) After a second successive hundred for Brendon McCullum, BJ Watling gets his 7th fifty (off 190 balls). The 150-run stand is also up between the two.
10:23 (IST) FOUR! Edged! Good length ball outside off from Ishant, McCullum defends and gets an outside edge through gully for a boundary. The fielder in that region dives to his right but fails to reach towards the ball. The umpire signals a no ball as well for overstepping.
10:15 (IST) The Basin Reserve track still shows signs that it a good surface for seam bowlers as ton-up McCullum is beaten all ends up with that peach of a delivery from Zaheer Khan. NZ 233/5, trail by 13.
10:07 (IST) Hundred No.9 for Brendon McCullum. What a way to go from 94 to 100, he hoicks Ishant Sharma over long on for a six. NZ 227/7, trail by 19.
09:54 (IST) McCullum flicks Zaheer through mid-wicket and Cheteshwar Pujara runs close to 40 metres to his left and stop the ball. McCullum has enough time to run three and enter the nineties. NZ 217/5, trail by 29.
09:43 (IST) Brendon McCullum becomes 4th New Zealander to reach 5000 Test runs, behind Stephen Fleming, Martin Crowe and John Wright.
09:38 (IST) The second new-ball has been taken by India straightaway. NZ 199/5 after 80 overs, trail by 47.
09:31 (IST) The 100-run partnership is up between McCullum and Watling from 254 balls. NZ 194/5, trail by 52.
09:22 (IST) If the Indian team is looking desperate for a breakthrough, they can take some heart from the continuous support of a section of Indian fans, who are playing Indian music with periodic drum rolls.
09:17 (IST) Brendon McCullum looks to attack now as he hits Jadeja for two fours in the 76th over. First, he punches it through the covers for four, four balls later, he eases into an extra cover drive and it goes through the gap and all along the carpet for another boundary. NZ 191/5, trail by 55.
09:09 (IST) FACTOID: Interestingly, both skippers in this Test registered their 29th fifty in this game. Dhoni made 68, McCullum is on 62 now. Will the Kiwi the go get a hundred? NZ 178/5, trail by 68.
09:00 (IST) BJ Watling growing in confidence here as he late cuts Mohd Shami for four behind backward point. NZ 173/5, trail by 71.
08:53 (IST) In the air and safe! Knuckle ball outside off from Zaheer Khan, angling in, Watling tries to play it with soft hands but gets a top edge. The ball flies over the backward point region and lands safely. Couple taken. NZ 165/5, trail by 81.
08:49 (IST) Great shot from McCullum, who pulls Zaheer Khan hard between long leg and deep backward square leg for four. NZ 165/5, trail by 81.
08:45 (IST) FIFTY for McCullum! Brendon McCullum sweeps Ravindra Jadeja hard in front of square for four and reaches his 29th fifty. One of McCullum's slowest fifties, taking 146 balls and 5 fours. NZ 158/5, trail by 88.
08:38 (IST) Ravindra Jadeja to continue bowling from the other end as Dhoni persists with his lead spinner in the XI.
08:31 (IST) Players back for the final session! Zaheer Khan to bowl, McCullum on strike.
08:21 (IST) Did you know? Ishant Sharma had dropped Alastair Cook in his knock of 190 in the Kolkata Test? Cook was dropped on 156 runs. This one proved more disastrous for India - Michael Clarke was dropped on 182 by Sharma in his epic knock of 329 not out. And today he dropped Brendon McCullum when he was on 35. Interesting as all three were off the captains. On the previous two occasions India lost the Tests.
08:11 (IST) That's tea! New Zealand are 146/5, trail India by 100 runs with Brendon McCullum and BJ Watling fighting in this hard-fought second session. Kiwis scored 59 runs for the loss of one wicket in post-lunch session. Captain McCullum and Watling are building a partnership which is annoying India. Still a tough job to do for the Kiwis as they trail by 100 more runs with five remaining.
07:58 (IST) Close run out chance! McCullum tries to play Jadeja to the leg side but gets a leading edge and the ball goes towards point. He comes a bit forward and looks for a single. Watling from the other end sets off. The fielder at point quickly collects the ball and McCullum sends Watling back. There's a throw at the non-striker's end but the ball is hit Watling's bat as he dived forward to make it in with a slide. The ball ricochets to mid off. But Jadeja is unhappy out there as he thinks direct hit would have been interesting. Replays show Watling didn't do it purposely and it was just accidental that the ball hit his bat. Hence the umpire doesn't want to check whether it was for obstructing the field.
07:47 (IST) The best bowler of the day Zaheer is brought back to the attack and Brendon McCullum welcomes him in his own style - short ball on middle, McCullum pulls it hard through the mid-wicket region and the ball races away to the boundary rope. NZ 139/5, trail by 107.
07:40 (IST) DROPPED! Fuller length ball outside off from Ishant, McCullum drives it back to the bowler who tries to collect it in his followthrough but fails to grab it.
07:31 (IST) Close shave for McCullum! Edged and just short - Good length delivery outside off from Ishant, McCullum (35) plays a half-push and gets an outside edge. Dhoni dives to his right and the ball lands just short of him. He doesn't collect it either. NZ 129/5, trail by 117.
07:20 (IST) Jadeja has been the most economical of the Indian bowlers - 11-3-13-1. NZ 121/5 (50 overs), trail by 125.
07:12 (IST) Jadeja changes line of attack and comes over the wicket now. After his first three balls, Dhoni is heard on the stump mic, saying to him - 'Dheere daalna hai' (Can bowl slowly). Correspondingly, next ball, Dhoni says - 'Yeh acha hai' (This is better). NZ 121/5, trail by 125.
07:00 (IST) Watling goes for the flick of his pads off Ishant and gets four through mid-wicket. NZ 113/5, trail by 133.Â
06:53 (IST) Ravindra Jadeja keeping it tight against the two right handers, not giving McCullum or Watling any room to play with. NZ 107/5, trail by 139.
06:40 (IST) NEWS - Kane Williamson has been included in New Zealand's squad for the ICC World T20 in Bangladesh. NZ squad for T20 World Cup: Brendon McCullum, Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Anton Devcich, Martin Guptill, Ronnie Hira, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Colin Munro, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson.
06:31 (IST) Kiwi keeper BJ Watling, who took 5 catches in the first innings, is the new man in.
06:22 (IST) WICKET! First wicket to fall to a spinner in this game and it is Ravindra Jadeja who removes Corey Anderson (2). NZ 94/5, trail by 152.
06:18 (IST) McCullum employs the hook and it goes wide of long-leg for four off Mohd Shami. NZ 94/4, trail by 152.
06:10 (IST) Players make their way in the middle for the second session. McCullum is still batting and it will be interesting to see his approach in the second session. Indian bowlers have bowled according to their plans and have got success so far. Join us in a while for the second session.
Another good session for India. They managed to pick up two early wickets of the overnight batsmen, Williamson and Rutherford. New Zealand were just trying to rebuild but Latham departed at the stroke lunch. 63 runs were scored in the session but New Zealand lost three wickets in that course. That will hurt them a lot as they are still 159 runs behind.
05:30 (IST) India get a breakthrough at the stroke of lunch, Tom Latham is out caught behind by MS Dhoni off Mohd Shami for 29. NZ 87/4 (34.1 overs), trail by 159.
05:22 (IST) FACTOID: Tom Latham has gone past his father Rod Latham's score of 25 on debut (February 1992). NZ 84/3 (32 overs), trail by 162 runs.
05:13 (IST) Spin for the first time in this innings - Ravindra Jadeja on to the bowling crease.
05:10 (IST) Dropped catch! Simple chance put down by Virat Kohli. Brendon McCullum lobs the ball straight and Virat Kohli spills it, standing at short mid-on. NZ 78/3, trail by 168.
05:00 (IST) Brendon McCullum flicks Ishant Sharma easily of the pads for four through the mid-wicket region. NZ 77/3 (26 overs), trail by 169.
04:50 (IST) Two back to back pull shots from Latham gives him consecutive fours off Zaheer.Â
04:43 (IST) The Kiwis have managed 39 runs in 15 overs for the loss of two crucial wickets. Zaheer Khan has been the lone wrecker - 3 for 18 in 10 overs so far for him.
04:28 (IST) FACTOID: Since his 171 vs England on debut, Hamish Rutherford has just one fifty in 20 innings.
04:15 (IST) TRIVIA: Before today, the last time Rutherford and Latham batted together for NZ was way 21 years ago, when Ken Rutherford and Rod Latham were at the crease on January 5, 1993.
04:10 (IST) WICKET! Zaheer you beauty! Hamish Rutherford prods and Zaheer's ball just holds up enough to get the outside edge, no mistake from Dhoni. Rutherford made 35, looked good during his stay at the crease. NZ 52/3, trail by 194.
04:03 (IST) Lovely shot from Rutherford, straight down the ground wide of mid-off for four off Shami. NZ 47/2, trail by 199.
03:55 (IST) Two maidens on-the-trot from Mohd Shami and Zaheer Khan.
03:45 (IST) First runs in Test cricket for Tom Latham, the left-hander tucks this one towards vacant point area for two runs. Lathan was out on the third ball for 0 in the first innings to Ishant Sharma.
03:39 (IST) HUGE WICKET! Kane Williamson c Dhoni b Zaheer (7). Wasn't there to be driven on the up, Williamson plays away from the body and gets a faint edge only to be taken easily behind the stumps by Dhoni. NZ 27/2, trail by 219.
03:33 (IST) A decent start from Ishant after the first ball of the day was punched for three runs through the covers. NZ 27/1, trail by 219.
03:29 (IST) Players taking their positions at the start of Day 3. Ishant Sharma to bowl to Hamish Rutherford.
Wellington Test: Rahane, Dhoni help tourists improve 1st innings batting record on tours
The second day of the 2nd Test match belonged to rising Indian batsman Ajinkya Rahane, who scored his maiden hundred, bettering the 96 he scored vs South Africa at Durban in December 2013. He scored 118 off 158 balls to help India reach 438 in response to New Zealand's first innings score of 192. New Zealand were placed at 24/1 at stumps on Day 2 and they trail the visitors by 222 runs.
# India (438) have recorded their highest total at Basin Reserve, Wellington, bettering the 434 for seven wickets declared in April 2009.
# India's run-rate of 4.26 is their second highest outside the sub-continent (minimum 400) - the highest being 4.61 during their total of 482 off 104.3 overs vs New Zealand at Auckland in February 1990. Â
# The last instance when India amassed more than 400 in the first innings outside the sub-continent was - 520 vs New Zealand at Hamilton in March 2009.
# India have taken a first innings lead of 246 against New Zealand - their highest in New Zealand in the first innings. Overall, the said lead is their second highest vs New Zealand in the first innings in Tests, next only to the 376-run lead in the Nagpur Test in November 2010. Â
# The last occasion India had a first innings lead of 200 or more outside the sub-continent was vs New Zealand at Hamilton in 2008-09. (More stats)
Day 2 recap
Ajinkya Rahane cracked his maiden ton as India dished out a dominant batting display to take a massive 246-run lead and put themselves in the drivers' seat over New Zealand on the second and final cricket Test here on Saturday.
Rahane, playing in his fifth Test, struck a classy 118 which he made from 158 deliveries with the help of 17 fours and a six as India scored 438 all out on the second day in reply to New Zealand's 192 on a Basin Reserve pitch which has considerably eased out in favour of batsmen.
Pacer Zaheer Khan then dismissed opener Peter Fulton for just one as New Zealand ended the day on 24 for one, still trailing by 222 runs with nine second innings wickets in hand.
The other opener Hamish Rutherford and in-form Kane Williamson were at the crease on 18 and four respectively at the draw of stumps.
Rahane bettered his previous highest score of 96, made in Durban against South Africa in December last. He put on a 120-run seventh wicket stand with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (68 off 86 balls) as India pressed their advantage in the post-tea session with some aggressive batting.
Opener Shikhar Dhawan (98) was unlucky to miss out on a century by just two runs. Dhawan, who laid the foundation of India's best batting show of the Test series, faced 127 balls and struck 14 fours and a six.
For New Zealand, Tim Southee (3/93), Trent Boult (3/99), Neil Wagner (3/106) and James Neesham (1/62) shared the spoils among them. Corey Anderson (0/66) went wicket-less.
With three full days left, India, who lost the first Test in Auckland by 40 runs, would look to win the game and level the two-match series.
Starting off at 301/6 post-tea, Rahane and Dhoni scored runs at a quick clip, especially the latter.
The Indian captain brought up his 29th Test fifty off 64 balls with six fours and one six, in the 86th over. Two overs later, they brought up their 100-run partnership. Just as it was looking too easy for the Indian batsmen, Dhoni was strangled down the leg-side and caught by keeper BJ Watling off Boult in the 93rd over.
Ravindra Jadeja (26 off 16 balls) came to the crease and started hitting out, living by the sword and dying by it, in the 97th over. He added 37 runs with Rahane who was now beginning to run out of partners.
But Zaheer hung around long enough for Rahane to complete his richly deserved maiden hundred, coming off 149 balls, with 15 fours.
Rahane thanks Dravid, Sachin
Elated after scoring his maiden Test hundred, Indian batsman Ajinkya Rahane on Friday thanked retired legends Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid for inspiring him and helping him become a better player.
Rahane hit 118 runs in the ongoing second Test against New Zealand at the Basin Reserve to take India to a total of 438 runs in their first innings and give the team a lead of 246 runs.
"Rahul Dravid is my role model and I have been following him since childhood. I have played with him in the Indian team and with Rajasthan Royals, and so I really learnt a lot from him both on and off the field. I just want to thank Rahul bhai," Rahane said at the end of second day's play here.
"I also want to thank Sachin (Tendulkar) paaji because during his last two Test matches, he told me about my batting. He said, 'I have been following you, and your hard work and your fitness. Just be patient and wait for your chance.' Thanks to both of them," he added. Â
The 25-year-old said he did not know how to express his feeling of elation at getting maiden Test ton after narrowly missing out on it in the tour of South Africa.
"I don't know how to express my feelings. A Test hundred is always special, but I will remember this first hundred for a long time. It's a very special hundred for me, but tomorrow is also a crucial day for us and hopefully the bowlers will do their job," said Rahane.