McCullum, Vettori save NZ from innings defeat

WELLINGTON: The fate of New Zealand team depends entirely on their wicketkeeper-batsman Brendon McCullum who helped theme take a lead of 67 runs with five wickets remaining when the play ended on the fourth day in the first Test here at the Basin Reserve on Monday.

The game of over 30 overs was affected by bad lights on the fourth day of the match.

The Black Cats resumed their second innings on 187 for five after rain delayed the start and overnight batsmen captain Daniel Vettori and McCcullum batting with responsibility took the score to 309 when Vettori departed after making 77. They added 126 for the sixth wicket record partnership for new Zealand against Australia.

McCullum changed his tactics to produce a superb team innings that allowed New Zealand to take their battle with Australia into a fifth day. Standing up to a fierce wind gusting up to 120kph, McCullum smothered his attack-first mentality and overcame a distracted Australian side to finish unbeaten on 94.

By stumps on a day curtailed by rain, light and regular interruptions caused by the gale, New Zealand were 369 for six at stumps with McCullum batting on 94 and Daryl Tuffey on 23.