McCullum’s double ton gives Kiwis firm control

Auckland, Feb 7: A record double ton by Brendon McCullum took New Zealand to a mammoth 473/7 in the first innings at lunch on the second day of the first cricket Test at the Eden Park here Friday.

McCullum struck an unbeaten 202, the highest Test score by a Kiwi batsman at the Eden Park, and alongwith Corey Anderson (77) stitched a valuable 133-run stand for the fifth wicket that took the hosts to a comfortable position.

Giving McCullum company at lunch was Ish Sodhi, who was batting on 18 as New Zealand scored 144 off 24 overs for the loss of three wickets in the opening two-hour session.

McCullum, who was on 143 overnight, reached his second Test double-century off the final ball before lunch to etch his name into the record books.

He struck left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja for a six over long to move to 198 and raised his double ton by slog-sweeping him for a four through square leg.

It was a chanceless innings by the New Zealand captain and he was congratulated by the Indian team. He took 426 minutes, 280 deliveries to reach the double ton that was studded with 28 fours and three sixes.

McCullum also passed Ian Smith’s New Zealand record Test innings at Eden Park of 173, against India in 199. He joined Walter Hammond, Daryll Cullinan, Javed Miandad, Keith Fletcher and Gordon Greenidge, who have scored double-centuries at the ground.

It was also McCullum’s second double century against India. His highest Test score, 225, was against the visitors in Hyderabad in 2010.