After just two days of the third test in Hamilton, day five already looms large for the hosts.
New Zealand were 156 for three at stumps in their first innings today, after the Windies compiled a testing 367 at Seddon Park.
The visitors had spin twins Sunil Narine and Veerasammy Permaul bowl the majority of the overs in New Zealand’s reply, and Narine in particular often flummoxed the Black Caps batsmen.
With the wicket offering reasonable turn and bounce, New Zealand will require either a substantial total compiled tomorrow or possibly face the prospect of defending their 1-0 lead in the series on a wearing wicket on Monday.
The in-form Ross Taylor should again be a key figure. Coming off a double ton in the first test and Dunedin and a century in the second in Wellington, Taylor was unbeaten on 56 off 133 balls.
Skipper Brendon McCullum got to 11 not out in his brief stint also had difficulties in picking Narine’s array of deliveries. Narine bowled 22 consecutive overs to end with the figures of 2-43, with nine maidens.
Kane Williamson was another to experience some worrying moments on his way to his half-century, but he and Taylor added 95 for the third wicket to frustrate the Windies before Williamson fell lbw to Narine for 58, made off 148 deliveries.
Both NZ openers went in the middle session to give the Windies hope in their pursuit of a series-tying victory, with NZ ahead 1-0.
Narine, brought into the Windies side to replace the banned Shane Shillingford, got rid of Peter Fulton for 11 in his first over when skipper Darren Sammy grasped a sharp catch at leg slip.
Sammy had made the initial breakthrough when he stooped to pull off a mart caught and bowled dismissal of Hamish Rutherford (10).
Earlier, Shivnarine Chanderpaul made an unbeaten on 122 in his side’s first innings - compiled from 229 balls and featuring 11 boundaries – to put the pressure on New Zealand.
The New Zealand new ball duo of Tim Southee and Trent Boult were more accurate in their first spell today than they were on day one and both gained rewards for testing spells when it looked like the hosts would run quickly through the tail.
Southee removed Sammy by inducing a knick to wicketkeeper BJ Watling while Boult knocked over Narine’s off stump.
Southee also gained revenge on the audacity of No 10 Permaul, who on-drove and then pulled the paceman for six and four in consecutive balls, before edging the next one to Fulton in the slips cordon.
In between wickets falling at the other end, the imperturbable Chanderpaul notched his 29th test century while also moving past former Australian skipper Allan Border to become the sixth-highest runscorer in test cricket history.
He celebrated his ton in exuberant fashion, leaping in the air and later kissing the pitch.
The hosts were made to pay for another missed chance when Fulton dropped Tino Best at second slip off Corey Anderson, when Best was on four and the Windies 339-9. The tailenders got through to 25 before Watling took his fifth catch of the innings off legspinner Ish Sodhi, with Chanderpaul and Best adding 35 for the last over.
BLACK CAPS v WEST INDIES
19 December 2013, Seddon Park, Hamilton
WEST INDIES First Innings
KC Brathwaite c KS Williamson b TG Southee 45
KOA Powell c BJ Watling b N Wagner 26
KA Edwards c BJ Watling b TG Southee 6
MN Samuels c KS Williamson b CJ Anderson 0
S Chanderpaul not out 122
N Deonarine lbw b CJ Anderson 2
D Ramdin c BJ Watling b CJ Anderson 107
DJG Sammy c BJ Watling b TG Southee 3
SP Narine b TA Boult 2
V Permaul c PG Fulton b TG Southee 20
TL Best c BJ Watling b IS Sodhi 25
Extras (b 2, lb 6, wd 1, nb 0) 9
Total (for 10 wickets, 116.2 overs) 367
Fall: 1-41 (KOA Powell, 16.3), 2-77 (KC Brathwaite, 31.3), 3-78 (KA Edwards, 33.4), 4-82 (MN Samuels, 34.2), 5-86 (N Deonarine, 36.6), 6-286 (D Ramdin, 86.5), 7-296 (DJG Sammy, 95.4), 8-307 (SP Narine, 100.3), 9-332 (V Permaul, 105.3), 10-367 (TL Best, 116.2)
Bowling: TA Boult 26-2-84-1 (1w, TG Southee 28-3-79-4, N Wagner 21-4-67-1, CJ Anderson 19-3-47-3, KS Williamson 5-0-17-0, IS Sodhi 17.2-0-65-1
BLACKCAPS First Innings
PG Fulton c DJG Sammy b SP Narine 11
HD Rutherford c & b DJG Sammy 10
KS Williamson lbw b SP Narine 58
LRPL Taylor not out 56
BB McCullum not out 11
Extras (b 6, lb 2, nb 2) 10
Total (for 3 wickets, 64.0 overs) 156
Fall: 1-18 (HD Rutherford, 5.2), 2-43 (PG Fulton, 21.3), 3-138 (KS Williamson, 55.3)
Bowling: TL Best 9-1-29-0 (1nb), DJG Sammy 10-5-17-1 (1nb), V Permaul 23-4-59-0, SP Narine 22-9-43-2
- Fairfax Media
How excited are you about the 2014 Commonwealth Games?Related story: After the hype, time to let the Games begin