Veteran seamer Chris Martin saluted his team's stick-ablity as the Black Caps endured a long, hard day in the field against the West Indies in Antigua overnight.
The hosts finished 442-6 at stumps on the third day, with the foundation of their innings built by openers Chris Gayle (150) and Kieran Powell (134).
The pair put on 254 for the first wicket, the second ever highest opening partnership by the West Indies against New Zealand.
Yet despite facing the barrage from Gayle and Powell over the first two sessions, the Black Caps fought back late on, claiming four wickets for 90 runs after tea.
Martin claimed the scalps of Marlon Samuels (29) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (0) in consecutive deliveries, and ended with 2 for 109 off his 23 overs.
''The 38 over session is always one that, especially in the last session of the day, is always a bit tough, but I think the boys stuck together pretty well,'' Martin said.
''I think Ross [Taylor] will be reasonably happy with how the day ended at least.''
Gayle put on a batting master class early on, slashing 17 fours and four boundaries in his 206 ball knock.
Yet Martin said the Black Caps bowling battery worked hard to get back into the match.
''We were leaking more than the Titanic, really,'' Martin said.
''So to pull it back with a couple of wickets at the end there was something I needed to do for the boys because the RPO at times has been a little bit night-marish.
''But I think the nature of the wicket is a very fine line between having a soft length and a full length, which is a scoring option to these guys. They tend to throw the kitchen sink at it.''
''I think we limited them at times, but [it was] a very tough day.''
Fellow seamer Doug Bracewell was the Black Caps stand-out bowler, claiming 1 for 81 off his 25 overs, while debutant Neil Wagner picked up his first test wicket this morning, that of Powell, and ended the day with 1 for 103 off his 28 overs.
Narsingh Deonarine (54) and Darren Sammy (8) will begin again at the crease for the West Indies tonight, with the hosts holding a 91 run first innings lead.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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