India [ Images ] squandered a two-goal lead and had to settle for a 2-2 draw against New Zealand [ Images ] in the third women's hockey Test at the Kett Capital Hockey Stadium in Napier [ Images ] on Wednesday.
With Saba Anjum (4th minute) and Chanchan Thockchom (8th) sounding the board, India raced to a 2-0 lead, but Kiwi rookie Stacey Brannigan's (27th and 57th minute) double strike earned the hosts a draw.
India lead the five-match series 1-0, having won the opener at Palmerston North while the second Test was drawn.
The final two matches of the series will be played in Wellington this weekend, according to a Hockey India statement.
In Thursday's match, India were quick to open their account, as Saba Anjum scored from a fast counter-attack.
Four minutes later, Chanchan Thockchom scored with a deflection from a straight shot by Subhadra Pradhan from a penalty-corner.
The Black Sticks then got one back through a field goal by Stacey Brannigan, her first international goal, which she struck from close range in the 27th minute.
In the second half, New Zealand held the ball well and had a lot of possession but were unable to convert their chances until the 57th minute when Brannigan scored again with a diving deflection.
The last 10 minutes of the match was played at high pace, but both teams were unable to find the winner.
Indian captain Surinder Kaur and Rani Rampal each had a good opportunity to score but the New Zealand defence foiled their attempts.
Indian goalkeeper Deepika Murty also made an important save in the final minute to deny the Black Sticks their first win of the series.