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Cricket-NZ declare with 293-run lead after McCullum fireworks

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

By Greg Stutchbury

DUNEDIN, New Zealand, March 9 (Reuters) - New Zealand established a 293-run lead over England after Brendon McCullum had taken the attack to their bowlers before he declared their innings closed at 460 for nine early on the fourth day of the first test at University Oval.

With the entire first day and virtually all of the third day's final session washed out on Friday, New Zealand needed quick runs on Saturday to attempt to force a result by bowling England out for a second time.

The hosts resumed on 402 for seven with McCullum on 44 and left-arm spinner Bruce Martin on 17 before the aggressively-minded New Zealand captain upped the run rate with some blistering shots.

He brought up his 26th test half century with a massive six that sailed out of the boutique-sized ground off Stuart Broad, then hammered James Anderson for two further sixes in the next over as the hosts pushed their lead towards 300.

McCullum's pugnacious innings, however, ended when he blasted a Broad delivery high into the air that hung in the sky for several seconds but Anderson comfortably took the catch at midwicket to end his innings on 74.

Martin was the last man dismissed for a well controlled 41 on debut when he nicked a Steve Finn delivery to Matt Prior. Neil Wagner was not out four when McCullum declared about 45 minutes into the day's play at the fall of Martin's wicket.

The host's strong first innings had been built around Hamish Rutherford's dynamic 171, the second highest score by a New Zealander in his first test, and his 158-run opening partnership with Peter Fulton (55).

All of the other top six batsmen got starts, though England's bowlers did drag themselves back into the match when they took five wickets in the second session on Friday after they had taken the second new ball. (Editing by Pritha Sarkar)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130308/cricket-nz-declare-293-run-lead-after-mccullum-fireworks