McCullum on song in Auckland

Blackpool Citizen: Brendon McCullum was eventually dismissed for 224 as New Zealand made 503 in their first innings Brendon McCullum was eventually dismissed for 224 as New Zealand made 503 in their first innings

Brendon McCullum's brilliant 224 and some impressive quick bowling from Trent Boult ensured New Zealand took a real stranglehold on their first Test with India in Auckland.

Kiwi captain McCullum resumed the second day at Eden Park on 143 and went on to make his second-highest score in red-ball internationals as his side piled up a score of 503 all out.

Boult then took over and snared Shikhar Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara inside the opening over and, although India recovered slightly, they were still in trouble on 130 for four at the close.

It was a second excellent day for the Black Caps, fresh from beating their visitors in the recent one-day series.

McCullum was the aggressor with the bat and also in the field, but overnight partner Corey Anderson could not join him in triple figures, being cleaned up by Ishant Sharma for 77.

Sharma would end with six for 134 - reward for persistence - and he removed BJ Watling for one to give India a chance of keeping New Zealand around the 400-mark.

But Tim Southee (28) and Ish Sodhi (23) enjoyed some lower-order fun, all while McCullum ploughed on to a score bettered only by the 225 he scored against India in Hyderabad in 2010.

His total came from 307 balls and included 29 fours and five maximums before Sharma made him his final victim, leaving India with a real challenge on their hands.

The made a torrid start as Dhawan edged the second ball of the innings to third slip, with Pujara nudging one behind four balls later.

The early wickets continued to fall and Virat Kohli found second slip off Southee when on four, leaving his side on 10 for three, and when Murali Vijay was cleaned up by Neil Wagner, the scoreboard told a story of 51 for four.

Rohit Sharma (67 not out) and Ajinkya Rahane (23no) put on a fifth-wicket stand of 79 to add some credibility to proceedings, though, but India still require a further 174 to avoid the follow on.

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