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Hyderabad Test heads towards draw with McCullum’s ton

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Brendon McCullum HyderabadThe Second Test Match at Hyderabad is most likely to end in a draw as Brendon McCullum scored a wonderful 6th hundred of his career and is still unbeaten on 124 to keep his end intact. New Zealand are 237 for 4 at close of play on Day 4 with an overall lead of 115 runs. Batting with McCullum is Kane Williamson (12*) who is fresh from a century on Test Debut at Ahmedabad. The important highlight of the fourth day was that of Harbhajan Singh registering his second Test hundred!

The morning session was centered on Harbhajan Singh who was on 85 with Sreesanth continuing to put up a spirited last wicket stand. Sreesanth managed to survive and help Harbhajan reach the milestone. Harbhajan also managed to score two consecutive centuries in two innings. The party finally ended for India when Sreesanth was hit on the pad by a Vettori delivery in the 144th over. The no.11 batted out for 71 balls for his 24 in a 10th wicket stand of 105. Harbhajan Singh remained undefeated on 111 (from 116 balls with 7 fours and 7 sixes) to help India to a lead of 122 runs. Daniel Vettori picked up a five-wicket haul having bowled nearly 50 overs.

New Zealand then saw through the morning session without losing any wickets to finish at 37 for 0 in 13 overs. After lunch, Brendon McCullum and Tim McIntosh continued to build their solid opening partnership and the Kiwis wiped out the Indian lead comfortably! Finally in the 36th over, Pragyan Ojha provided the opening for India when McIntosh (49 from 126 balls with 6 fours and a six) in an attempted sweep was caught by the diving substitute Pujara at short leg. Replays couldn’t quite confirm whether McIntosh got any edge onto the pad or not but there was no doubt that it was a great catch from Pujara. New Zealand finished the afternoon session at 131 for 1 in 40 overs with McCullum smashing 73.

Martin Guptill (18) provided able support to McCullum in the final session until he edged a cut shot off a full ball from Ojha to the keeper. He put up a useful partnership of 49 runs with McCullum. India got the next man Ross Taylor pretty cheaply when he got bowled through the gate by an indipper from Sreesanth to leave the Kiwis at 187 for 3. The in-form Jesse Ryder joined McCullum and brought back normalcy for the Kiwis in keeping the Indian bowlers at bay.

It was only in the last thirty minutes of play that Jesse Ryder (20) lost his wicket to a beauty from part-timer Suresh Raina which spun and bounced to force a thin edge to the keeper. McCullum (124* from 177 balls with 11 fours and 3 sixes) saw the day through with Williamson (12* from 33 balls) who took a blow on the helmet by a Sreesanth short delivery.

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