Wellington - Brendon McCullum became the first New Zealand batsman to score a Test triple-century as the hosts declared their second innings on 680-8 before lunch on the fifth day of the second Test against India on Tuesday.
Captain McCullum's 302 virtually ensured his team will win the two-match series, having won the first game by 40 runs at Eden Park, while giving them a chance of bowling India out in the two remaining sessions at Wellington's Basin Reserve to clinch a second victory.
The tourists began their second innings needing 435 runs in 67 overs to win the test and went to the lunch break on 10 for none with Murali Vijay on seven and Shikhar Dhawan on two.
Debutant all-rounder Jimmy Neesham, who had resumed on 67 on Tuesday, quickly raced through to his first test century and was 137 not out when McCullum called an end to the innings about 25 minutes before the break.
Neil Wagner was two not out for the hosts, who declared at their highest test score, surpassing the 671-4 they accumulated against Sri Lanka at the Basin Reserve in 1991.
The morning belonged to McCullum, however, who resumed on 281 and went effortlessly through to 298 before slicing a late cut off paceman Zaheer Khan to the fence to bring up the milestone with his 32nd four.
McCullum's triple-century was the 28th in test cricket and the New Zealand skipper became the 24th player to score one.
Brian Lara, Virender Sehwag, Chris Gayle and Don Bradman all struck two triple-tons.
McCullum, 32, raised his arms while the small crowd rose to their feet, their applause lasting more than a minute.
Former captain Martin Crowe had the previous highest score by a New Zealand batsman of 299 in the 1991 match against Sri Lanka. - Reuters