Updated: Saturday, 15 February 2014 11:21 | By Agence France-Presse

Rahane, Dhoni extend India's advantage in N.Zealand Test

Ajinkya Rahane and Mahendra Singh Dhoni were building a solid first innings lead for India over New Zealand Saturday, going to tea at 301-6 on day two of the second Test. 


Rahane, Dhoni extend India's advantage in N.Zealand Test

India's Ajinkya Rahane bats during day two of the second Test match against New Zealand in Wellington on February 15, 2014 - by Marty Melville

It put India 109 runs ahead of New Zealand's 192, with Rahane on 64 and Dhoni on 39 with four wickets in hand. 

Rahane, who posted his third Test 50 in only his fifth Test, and captain Dhoni have put on 73 in a crucial stand for the seventh wicket at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.

New Zealand, looking to wrap up the series after winning the first Test by 40 runs, took three wickets in the morning but only one in the middle session as their seam attack lacked the hostility captain Brendon McCullum called for. 

They had India at 165-5 before allowing Virat Kohli and Rahane to steer the tourists to a first innings lead in a 63-run partnership for the sixth wicket.

Neil Wagner, who proved valuable in breaking stubborn partnerships in the first Test, again made the breakthrough for New Zealand when he had Kohli caught at short cover by Hamish Rutherford at 38. 

With the new ball then 12 overs away, Dhoni lifted the run rate immediately as he blazed away with four fours from consecutive Wagner deliveries. 

When India resumed the day at 100-2, New Zealand made heavy weather of removing nightwatchman Ishant Sharma.

Sharma was twice sat on his backside while subjected to a barrage of short-pitched deliveries, but still managed to extend his score from an overnight three to 26 before he was caught behind. 

Shikhar Dhawan reached 98 when an attempt to drive a seaming Tim Southee delivery gave wicketkeeper BJ Watling his second catch. 

Jimmy Neesham bowled Rohit Sharma without scoring to claim his maiden Test wicket, but wickets have been difficult to get since then.

For New Zealand, Trent Boult has 2-58 and Southee 2-66.

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