When Denesh Ramdin walked to the wicket at Seddon Park, the obituaries for his side in this series were being penned.
Two and a half hours later, the wicketkeeper/batsman had breathed new life back into the contest.
Ramdin's 107 and his sixth-wicket partnership of 200 with Shivnarine Chanderpaul resuscitated the visitors, just when it looked like they would capitulate.
"We were under some pressure - the first day of a test match, 80-odd for five," Ramdin said.
"We just needed a partnership and the legend Shivnarine Chanderpaul guided me through that period."
The 28-year-old, who registered his fourth test century, said some work with a bowling machine following the second test thumping in Wellington helped his side fight off what was looking like another New Zealand rout on a benign wicket.
"We played a lot straighter," Ramdin said of his side's plan to combat the Black Caps' swing attack.
"They bowled some good areas, and we adjusted."
Ramdin fell shortly before stumps but declared himself happy with his rescue effort.
"At the back of my mind, I set out the goal to bat out the rest of the day. So I was a bit disappointed but the team is happy."
"I played my natural game," he said of his 148-ball knock that featured 18 fours.
"I wanted to bat a lot of balls and I think I did that.
"There were periods when I wasn't scoring. I had to battle along and soak up the pressure and having Shiv there helped me through that period to soak up the pressure.
"I gave a couple of chances but he told me to tighten up and keep batting in small partnerships."
Ramdin said the pitch was a bit slow, with tennis ball bounce, but may take spin later on. That would suit the tourists, who named left-arm orthodox spinner Veerasammy Permaul in their XI in place of seamer Shannon Gabriel.
Ramdin knows the visitors still need further runs today to increase the pressure on New Zealand.
"They still have the new ball so that first hour will be play an important part.
"Our captain [Darren Sammy, not out on nought] is a strokeplayer and so he will score runs once he spends time at the crease, and Shiv will go on to get a big one."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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