Sharjah: Captain Brendon McCullum's blistering double hundred and a record 297-run stand with centurion Kane Williamson put New Zealand firmly in control of the third and final Test against Pakistan here on Saturday.
McCullum (202) fell two balls after completing his fourth double hundred in Tests, the fourth fastest ever, but the visitors continued to pile on runs and reached 637/8 at stumps on the third day, a first-innings lead of 286.
Williamson also reached his eighth hundred in the morning and was out for 192, his highest Test score, by the first ball after tea as New Zealand, trailing 1-0 in the series, continued to score runs at a fierce pace.
Resuming on 249/1, the aggressive duo of McCullum and Williamson hit boundaries off pacemen and spinners at will on their way to breaking New Zealand's record for the highest second-wicket Test partnership.
The 33-year-old McCullum, who hit 21 fours in his 188-ball knock, got past his double-hundred against legspinner Yasir Shah with his 11th six but was bowled round his legs in the same over while attempting a sweep shot.
The celebration was again muted in memory of Australian Phillip Hughes, who died on Thursday after being hit on the neck by a bouncer two days earlier, with both sets of players continuing to wear black armbands.
There was also no jubilation from Williamson after he drove Mohammad Talha for a boundary to bring up his century. While McCullum was brutal in his strokeplay, the 24-year-old Williamson manufactured his runs with grace and timing.
He continued to drive New Zealand on after his skipper's departure and added 116 for the third with Ross Taylor (50), who became Yasir's second victim.
Williamson edged paceman Rahat Ali straight to Younus Khan at the lone slip position after hitting 23 fours and a six during his 244-ball knock. Rahat (4/89) also dismissed Corey Anderson after the left-hander had scored a quick-fire 50, studded with seven boundaries and two huge sixes.
Yasir picked up his third wicket in the form of Tim Southee but not before he had further dented the morale of Pakistan's bowlers by hammering another quick-fire 50 for New Zealand, who have already posted their third-highest score in Tests.
Pakistan - 351 (Hafeez 197, Craig 7-94)
New Zealand - 637/8 (McCullum 202, Williamson 192, Rahat 4-89))
Status - New Zealand lead by 286 runs