Brendon McCullum (left) led the fightback on Day Four and put New Zealand in command of the second Test © Getty Images
By Shrikant Shankar
Feb 17, 2014
Brendon McCullum‘s magnificent double century in New Zealand‘s second innings has given them command of the second Test against India in Wellington on February 17, 2014. He was unbeaten on 281 at stumps on Day Four with James Neesham batting on 67. BJ Watling was the only wicket to fall in the day for 124 runs. New Zealand are at 571 for six.
In the course of the innings, McCullum has batted for the longest time for any New Zealand batsman. McCullum and Neesham also added 125 runs for the seventh wicket. Many records were broken and set on Day Four by the New Zealand batsmen. New Zealand lead India by 325 runs.
The post-tea session began with New Zealand at 440 for five. McCullum and Watling soon went onto break the world record for the highest sixth-wicket stand in Test history. The duo got past the record set by Mahela Jayawardene and Prasanna Jayawardene. The Sri Lankan pair added 351 runs against India at Ahmedabad in 2009.
Watling hit a delivery from Virat Kohli towards cover and got a single in the second ball of the 159.2 overs to break the record. But right after the record was broken, Mohammed Shami struck to dismiss Watling.
India had taken the new ball and Shami got one to hit Watling on the back pad. The Indians appealed and the umpire raised his finger. The duo had shared a 352-run partnership off 738 deliveries.
McCullum then struck a few fours square and straight down the wicket. Neesham too got two fours. One was hit wide of mid-on and the next was hit in the air towards long-on.
Shami then bowled a bouncer and McCullum played a brilliant hook shot. The ball sailed over the deep square-leg fielder for a six. McCullum reached the 250-run mark with those runs.
Neesham pushed hard at a good length delivery from Shami and edged it. The ball just fell short of Murali Vijay at first slip. Neesham then got a thick edge to a length delivery from Shami through third-man for a four.
The partnership between McCullum and Neesham then got past 50 runs. Neesham then played a lofted cover drive for a four to a length delivery from Ishant to help New Zealand cross the 500-run mark.
Ishant bowled a length delivery and McCullum punched it through cover for a four. MS Dhoni brought Ravindra Jadeja back into the attack and McCullum came down the ground and lofted a six over long-on.
Neesham then came down the track and hit a delivery from Jadeja wide of Zaheer Khan at mid-off for a four. Neesham again came down the track and lofted a delivery from Jadeja for a four towards long-off. He then hit a length delivery from Jadeja towards deep cover for three runs to get his his half-century on debut.
Rohit Sharma came into the attack and Neesham hit a four through mid-wicket and then down the ground towards long-off.
New Zealand 192 (Kane Williamson 47, James Neesham 33, Tim Southee 32; Ishant Sharma 6 for 51, Mohammed Shami 4 for 70) & 571 for 6 (Brendon McCullum 281*, BJ Watling 124, James Neesham 67*; Zaheer Khan 3 for 129) lead India 438 (Shikhar Dhawan 98, Ajinkya Rahane 118, MS Dhoni 68; Trent Boult 3 for 99, Tim Southee 3 for 93) by 325 runs.
(Shrikant Shankar is a writer/reporter at CricketCountry.com. Previously he has done audio commentary for various matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)