New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum struck a second double century in successive Tests to bat his side to safety at the end of the fourth day of the second Test against India.

McCullum was unbeaten on 281, his highest Test score and the second highest by a New Zealander, at close after having shared a world record stand for the sixth wicket with wicketkeeper BJ Watling who was dismissed for 124 in the third over after tea.

Fourth day scorecard

New Zealand first innings 192
India first innings 438
  
New Zealand second innings

P Fulton lbw b Khan 1
H Rutherford c Dhoni b Khan 35
K Williamson c Dhoni b Khan 7
T Latham c Dhoni b Shami 29
B McCullum not out 281
C Anderson c & b Jadeja 2
B Watling lbw b Shami 124
J Neesham not out 67

Extras (b 5, lb 11, w 2, nb 7) 25
Total (6 wickets; 189 overs) 571
Fall of wickets 1-1, 2-27, 3-52, 4-87, 5-94, 6-446

Debutant Jimmy Neesham was with his captain on 67 with the hosts on 571 for six, a lead of 325 and seemingly in a position where they cannot lose the match and series with a day's play remaining.

New Zealand had won the first Test at Eden Park by 40 runs and India had needed to win the game to level the two-match series.

"It has been a great day," an exhausted McCullum told Radio Sport. "Today I thought BJ and myself were able to put ourselves in a really strong position. The way Neesh came in and we created that partnership we are really pleased with where we are and we have to make some decisions overnight."

McCullum was within sight of Martin Crowe's New Zealand best score of 299, set against Sri Lanka at the same ground in 1991 and could become the first New Zealand player to score a triple century if he continues to bat on the final day on Tuesday.

McCullum and Watling had continued their resurrection of New Zealand's innings having been thrust together at 94 for five and in danger of losing the game inside three days.

Instead, they combined for a 352-run partnership, a world record for the sixth wicket, surpassing the 351 that Sri Lankan duo Mahela and Prasanna Jayawardene scored against India in 2009. It was also the third highest by any New Zealand combination in Test cricket.

Watling fell six balls after they set the world record on the second delivery of the third new ball when he was trapped in front by Mohammed Shami for 124, ending his 367-ball, 510-minute stay. 

Source: Reuters