Down to their last hopes, the West Indies finally found the combined backbone to stay alive in the test series against New Zealand.
Denesh Ramdin and Shivnarine Chanderpaul halted a batting collapse with a sixth-wicket partnership of 200 in Hamilton today to give their side a shot at a series-tying victory.
At stumps on day one, the visitors were 289 for six, with Chanderpaul 94 not out and Darren Sammy on nought.
Ramdin brought up his fourth test century late in the day by slashing Trent Boult over the slips cordon and leapt in the air in delight. He reached 107 from 148 balls, striking 18 fours, before edging Corey Anderson to wicketkeeper BJ Watling.
The seemingly unshakeable Chanderpaul was left unbeaten and needs just another four runs to become the sixth-highest runscorer in the history of test cricket - moving ahead of Australian Allan Border - and six more to register his 29th test ton.
Their double-century stand between the pair was a record for a West Indian sixth-wicket partnership against New Zealand in this country.
Chanderpaul survived a couple of half chances - he flicked Ish Sodhi just wide of Hamish Rutherford at leg slip in the over before tea when on 27 and pushed one in the air past bowler Neil Wagner when on 40.
Ramdin was the more aggressive of the two but should have perished on 57 a ball after the duo brought up their century stand, from 198 deliveries. He slog-swept Sodhi low to a diving Kane Williamson at mid-wicket, who couldn't grasp the chance.
Ramdin got his reprieve on 92 in the first over with the second new ball, when Southee shelled a drive at short cover.
The Windies looked like folding again on a good batting wicket midway through the middle session before Ramdin and Chanderpaul displayed spirit and substance to thwart the home team.
After being soundly placed at lunch at 71 for one, the tourists fell apart in the first hour of the second session, losing four wickets for nine runs in the space of 5.3 overs to hand the hosts at Seddon Park the upper hand.
Opener Kraigg Brathwaite had eased his way to 41 not out at lunch but lasted just two and a half overs following the break before steering Southee to Williamson at gully for 45.
Kirk Edwards fell in Southee's next over when he tried to leave a delivery but got a faint edge through to wicketkeeper BJ Watling while withdrawing the bat. Although umpire Nigel Llong turned down the initial appeal, the hosts chose to review and found enough evidence for the decision to be overturned and Edwards departed for six.
Marlon Samuels (0) was next to go in the following over with a shameful swipe at Corey Anderson that Williamson juggled before clasping and Anderson gained another scalp when he got Narsingh Deonarine lbw, with the DRS backing the judgment of Ian Gould in giving him out for two.
That left the visitors reeling at 86-5.
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum won the toss earlier this morning and elected to send the Windies in, following a trend that has seen the successful coin-caller insert the other side for the past 10 tests held in this country.
The visiting side features a number of changes from the team hammered within three days in Wellington.
Sunil Narine came into the playing XI to replace fellow off-spinner Shane Shillingford, who has been suspended by the ICC for an illegal bowling action.
Batsman Darren Bravo, who made a double ton in the first test in Dunedin, was ruled out through injury after being hit on the arm in the nets in practice yesterday and replaced by Brathwaite. Veerasammy Permaul also made his first appearance in the series, with the slow left-armer in for seamer Shannon Gabriel.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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