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McCullum's Double Ton Bring Hyderabad Test To A Draw

Hyderabad, Nov 16 :  Virender Sehwag produced an entertaining innings after New Zealand's Brendon McCullum snuffed out any chances of an India win with a career-best maiden double century on the fifth and final day

PTI [ Updated: November 16, 2010 20:48 IST ]
mccullum s double ton bring hyderabad test to a draw
mccullum s double ton bring hyderabad test to a draw

Hyderabad, Nov 16 :  Virender Sehwag produced an entertaining innings after New Zealand's Brendon McCullum snuffed out any chances of an India win with a career-best maiden double century on the fifth and final day of the second Test here today.

India were 68 for no loss, with Sehwag on 54 and Gambhir on 14, when stumps were drawn for the final time in the match as for the second time in the series the battle between the two rivals ended in a tame draw.

The two teams now head to Nagpur for the third and final Test starting on Saturday.

New Zealand set an improbable target of 326 in 30 overs after declaring their second innings at tea, at 448 for eight, with an overall lead of 326 runs at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.

Sehwag then displayed his pyrotechnics and in company of Gautam Gambhir entertained the crowd with his dazzling stroke-play before the two captains agreed to call it off.

After a 96-run innings in his first essay, Sehwag hit six fours and a six during his breezy knock in his second attempt today.

Earlier McCullum (225), who was opening only for the second time in his career, became only the second New Zealander to post a double century on Indian soil, after Bert Sutcliffe's 230 in Delhi way back in 1955.

At tea the visitors, having stretched their lead to 326, were placed at 448 for the loss of eight wickets. Wicketkeeper Hopkins was unbeaten on 11, while giving him company was Brent Arnel, batting on one.

During his monumental innings, McCullum was involved in one century and a half-century stand, besides the 125-run partnership for the opening wicket with Tim McIntosh yesterday.

The dashing Kiwi opener, who was dropped by Cheteshwar Pujara at forward short-leg on 148, smashed 22 boundaries and four sixes during his tenure at the crease that saw him record his sixth Test century, the last one coming against Australia in Wellington earlier in March this year.

A couple of wickets in quick succession by S Sreesanth, including the one of McCullum, and Suresh Raina's dismissal of Daniel Vettori 12 minutes after lunch, brought the crowds on their toes.

In the second session, Dravid picked up his 199th catch when he pulled off a stunner at cover to send back Vettori off Raina.

After a wicket-less first session, India took four wickets in the period between lunch and tea, but New Zealand kept the hosts on their toes by collecting 109 runs, mostly coming off the blade of McCullum.

Earlier Kane Williamson notched up his second half century on the trot as New Zealand went to lunch at 339 for four. The 20-year-old had earlier scored in the first Test at Motera, his debut match.

Resuming at an overnight score of 237 for the loss of four wickets, both batsmen mixed aggression with caution and added 102 runs in the first session without losing a wicket, to give the visitors a lead of 217 runs.

Luck too was on McCullum's side and he should thank substitute fielder Cheteshwar Pujara for that. Pujara dropped a seemingly easy chance off Harbhajan Singh at forward short-leg when the opener was batting on 148.

Pujara later dropped Vettori off the bowling of Raina before Murali Vijay, fielding for Zaheer Khan who was yet to recover from an abdominal strain, dropped a sitter off Sreesanth at first slip. Hopkins was the fortunate batsman this time around.

On a track devoid of the kind of turn normally seen on fifth day wickets in the country, it was important from India's point of view to hold on to their chances.

With not enough time left in the match, India needed a couple of early wickets to give themselves a chance of taking a 1-0 lead in the series, but McCullum and Williamson batted with purpose to nullify the Indian attack.

Williamson signaled New Zealand's intention with a beautiful straight drive between the bowler and the stumps off S S Sreesanth in the day's fourth ball. The next ball was steered through gully for a boundary and the visitors were on course.

Williamson then glided Zaheer Khan between backward point and gully before McCullum got into the act by sending a Sreesanth delivery over point for a boundary.

McCullum, who scored the reverse sweep against Harbhajan to good effect yesterday, did the same today, and against the same bowler. Harbhajan was twice reverse swept for boundaries.

Williamson, meanwhile, was dealing in boundaries against Ojha. Straight down the ground, over long-on and square off the wicket, Williamson was sending the ball everywhere.  PTI

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