McCullum gives NZ A opening honours

New Zealand A 36 for 0 trail India A 248 (M Vijay 45, McCullum 6-90) by 212 runs

A career-best 6 for 90 from Nathan McCullum, the offspinning allrounder, helped New Zealand A take firm control of the opening day of the first Test against India A in Chennai. India chose to bat after winning the toss and were bowled out for 248 in 75.4 overs, after which New Zealand's openers took stumps on 36 for 0.

McCullum, the older brother of New Zealand international Brendon, triggered India's downfall after a promising second-wicket stand of 71 between Shikhar Dhawan (27) and Murali Vijay (45). Both batsmen fell to McCullum in quick succession, and after captain Suresh Raina was bowled by left-arm pacer Trent Boult, McCullum picked up three more wickets to derail India.

Jaydev Shah, the vice-captain, and Yusuf Pathan, who took a fancy to the New Zealand attack during the recent one-day series, were forming a good stand but were cut short by McCullum. Pathan (44) went trying to hit McCullum out of the ground, caught at long-on by Boult just before tea. Just after the interval, McCullum dismissed wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha for 25, who had added 54 with Pathan. McCullum went past his previous best of 5 for 28 when he removed last man Sudeep Tyagi. McCullum bowled 30.4 overs unchanged after being brought into the attack in the 16th over.

New Zealand's openers, Aaron Redmond and BJ Watling, began positively in the remaining 12 overs of the day. Watling took a backseat as Redmond hit 31from 41 balls, with four boundaries and a six, struck off legspinner Amit Mishra in the eighth over.