Updated: Tuesday, 18 February 2014 07:30 | By Agence France-Presse

McCullum first New Zealander to score Test 300

Brendon McCullum became the latest member of the elite 300 club and the first New Zealander to reach the triple Test century landmark Tuesday in a heroic match-saving innings against India.


McCullum first New Zealander to score Test 300

Captain of New Zealand Brendon McCullum walks from the field after being caught out for 302 runs during day 5 of the 2nd International Test cricket match between New Zealand and India in Wellington at the Basin Reserve on February 18, 2014 - by Marty Melville

Skipper McCullum passed the previous New Zealand record innings of 299, set by Martin Crowe 23 years ago, when he cut Zaheer Khan for four at Wellington's Basin Reserve nearly an hour into the final day of the second Test.

Two balls later, with the echoes of the standing ovation still on his mind, he was out for 302, caught behind off Khan. 

New Zealand were then 625-6, holding a lead of 379 which leaves India little chance of levelling the two-Test series after New Zealand won the first Test by 40 runs. 

Only 24 cricketers have broken the 300 barrier, four of them twice -- including West Indian Brian Lara who holds the world record for the highest Test innings of 400. 

Crowe said before the start of the day's play that he was willing McCullum to smash his record.

"I'm confident that he'll get through. I've said for a while now that it's time New Zealand joined the other Test playing nations in the triple-century list," he told Radio New Zealand. 

McCullum's marathon innings rescued New Zealand after they were staring down the barrel of defeat at 94-5 in their second innings and needing 246 to make India bat again. 

Along the way, he featured in a world record sixth-wicket stand of 352 with BJ Watling and became only the second New Zealander to score three career double centuries behind Stephen Fleming. 

McCullum, who resumed the day on 281, batted for just under 13 hours when he reached his 300, in a knock that included 32 fours and four sixes. 

The 32-year-old took over the New Zealand captaincy 16 months ago in controversial circumstances when popular skipper Ross Taylor was dumped. 

New Zealand then went through a dark year without a Test success until this summer when McCullum has led them to a 2-0 series win over the West Indies and now the brink of a 1-0 series victory over India. 

It is only the second time New Zealand has won three consecutive Tests.

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