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Magical McCullum proves indefatigable

Brendon McCullum continued his historic rearguard as New Zealand all but rescued the second Test against India.

The Black Caps, who collapsed to 192 all out in the first innings, looked set to suffer an innings defeat after being reduced to 94 for five in response to India’s 438 on day three.

But the wicket of Tom Latham brought together McCullum and BJ Watling, who put on 158 to give New Zealand hope.

They bettered that today, though, when adding 194 in taking their stand to 352 with Watling also reaching three figures.

He eventually fell for 124 yet McCullum remained, ending 19 runs shy of a triple century having become the second New Zealand batsman to register a double-hundred in successive games. The hosts closed on 571 for a six, a lead of 325.

Even following yesterday’s turnaround, few would have expected McCullum – a natural strokemaker – to be within reach of Brian Lara’s Test-record 400 not out.

But that is exactly what materialised as India spent another day of frustration in the field as New Zealand, having won the first Test, closed on a 1-0 series win.

The only moment of joy for the tourists came when Watling, having battled for 367 balls, was trapped lbw by Mohammed Shami for 124.

Even then, though, Jimmy Neesham was able to hit 68 not out and accompany McCullum, who had hit 28 fours and two sixes in his 525 deliveries, to the close.

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