McCullum leads fightback

Brendon McCullum struck an unbeaten century as New Zealand fought back on the third day of the second Test against India, reaching 252-5 at stumps to take a narrow lead in Wellington.

The hosts closed on 24-1 on day two after Peter Fulton was pinned leg before by Zaheer Khan for one, giving India every chance of wrapping up a win inside three days.

But captain McCullum's 114 not out and another solid knock from BJ Watling (52 no) in reply to India's 438 total, gave New Zealand a six-run lead with five wickets remaining.

The hosts lost Kane Williamson (7) in just the second over of the day as he edged behind to India captain MS Dhoni to give Khan his second wicket of the innings as the tourists started the day well.

That brought Tom Latham to the middle before opener Hamish Rutherford departed for 35 just six overs later - a second Khan victim in the first hour of play - as he also nicked through to Dhoni as the Black Caps were reduced to 52-3.

But McCullum and Latham formed a decent fourth-wicket alliance until the latter was removed by Mohammed Shami for 29 with last ball before lunch - yet another Dhoni victim.

After the resumption, Corey Anderson lasted only three overs before he became victim to Ravindra Jadeja, but that brought Watling to the crease and he offered his skipper some excellent support.

The duo put on 158 for the sixth wicket and ensured the hosts head into day four with their hopes still alive.