Peter Fulton (above) added an unbeaten stand of 94 runs in just 81 balls with skipper Brendon McCullum for the fifth wicket © Getty Images

Auckland: Mar 25, 2013

A whirlwind partnership between Peter Fulton and Brendon McCullum gave New Zealand a formidable 415-run lead over England at lunch on the fourth day of the third Test at Eden Park on Monday.

New Zealand ended the morning session on the penultimate day of the series-deciding match at 176 for four as they built on their 239-run first innings lead.

Fulton, who scored his maiden Test century in the first innings, was heading towards his second as he went to lunch on 91 with McCullum on 44.

The pair have put on 94 for the fifth wicket in 81 balls.

After New Zealand resumed the day at 35 for three, England’s only success was the dismissal of Dean Brownlie for 28 when he was spectacularly caught by Ian Bell off Monty Panesar.

Brownlie hit the ball high towards a vacant area of the ground and Bell ran at least 25 metres from mid-on to secure the catch with a final lurch that left him tumbling on the ground.

It was a wicket that did the tourists no favours as it brought McCullum to the crease and the New Zealand captain immediately upped the run rate as he prepared for the inevitable declaration later in the day.

McCullum’s 44 included two sixes and four boundaries.

Fulton, who received a life on 31 when he was dropped by James Anderson at mid-wicket off Stuart Broad, has belted four sixes and 13 fours in his rollicking innings.

Panesar has taken the brunt of the New Zealand attack with his seven overs in the session conceding 54 runs.

Broad, who took two wickets when the New Zealand top order crumbled to be eight for three at the start of the innings, remained the most successful of the England bowlers with two for 33.