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Kohli helps India draw Test, New Zealand win series


Wellington, Feb 18 :

Virat Kohli’s century helped India draw the second and final Test but New Zealand clinched the series 1-0 at the Basin Reserve here Tuesday.

Aided by Brendon McCullum’s triple century, the Black Caps achieved their highest ever total of 680 for eight declared, handing India a target of 435 runs.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli

India were in a spot of bother at 54 for three but Kohli’s (105 not out) sixth ton took India to safety, with the visitors ending Day 5 at 166/3.

There was a records galore Tuesday with the hosts posting their highest ever total in Tests, McCullum (302) becoming the first New Zealander to get past the 300-mark.

The 32-year-old also became the highest individual scorer for the Kiwis, surpassing legendary Martin Crowe’s 299 against Sri Lanka here in 1991 while New Zealand’s colossal total outscored their previous best of 671/4, also in the same Test.

Resuming the day at 571 for six, McCullum patiently put on 19 more runs in the morning session to complete his triple century while all-rounder Jimmy Neesham scored a century on debut, remaining unbeaten on 137.

The New Zealand skipper’s knock puts him behind only Pakistan’s Hanif Mohammad’s 337 in the highest second innings score list.

The Kiwi duo continued their good work from Day 4, extending the seventh-wicket partnership to 179 runs before McCullum edged a Zaheer Khan delivery to India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, bringing to an end a match-saving innings.

The stadium rose to applaud the batsman’s effort as the Indian fielders walked up to congratulate him.

The Dunedin-born raised his bat to acknowledge the greetings of the crowd before walking back into the pavilion. Man of the Match McCullum hit 32 boundaries and four sixes in his epic 559-ball innings.

Zaheer scalped Tim Southee (11) shortly after to take the 11th fifer of his career. Neesham put on 41 more runs with Neil Wagner (2 not out) before New Zealand declared their innings.

The visitors were immediately put on the backfoot, losing both openers Murali Vijay (7) and Shikhar Dhawan (2) early and struggling at 10 for two.

Cheteshwar Pujara (17) tried to hold the innings together but he too perished with the scoreboard reading 54/3.

Kohli and Rohit Sharma (31 not out), though, steadied the ship with an unbeaten 112-run fourth-wicket partnership.

Kohli was lucky to have not been given out when he edged a delivery to keeper B.J. Watling, batting at 15.

Black Caps pacers Tim Southee (2/33) and Trent Boult (1/30) caused early trouble for India, clinching all three wickets between themselves, but there on, Kohli played beautifully to see India through to a draw.

India end their tour of New Zealand without a win as they had also lost the one-day series 0-4.