New Zealand reached 156 for three at stumps on day two of the third and final Test in Hamilton after bowling out the West Indies for 367 in their first innings.
Dunedin heroes Ross Taylor (58 not out) and Brendon McCullum (11 not out) negotiated the twin spin threat of Sunil Narine (2-43) and Veerasammy Permaul (0-59) on a pitch offering sharp turn and bounce to guide the hosts safely to the close after Kane Williamson (58) recorded his first fifty of the series.
In the first session the West Indies, resuming on their overnight score of 286 for six, had Shivnarine Chanderpaul (122 not out) and some lusty tail-end hitting from Permaul (20) and Tino Best (25), to thank for adding 77 valuable runs for the last four wickets when Best was the last man to go just before lunch – gifting Kiwi spinner Ish Sodhi (1-65) his first wicket of the match.
In reaching three figures for the 29th time in his career Chanderpaul rose to sixth on the all-time list of Test run scorers.
West Indies captain Darren Sammy had earlier departed for three – when he edged an outswinger behind from the impressive Tim Southee (4-79) who also accounted for Permaul with Trent Boult (1-84) chipping in with a beauty to clean bowl Narine (2).
Corey Anderson finished with figures of three for 47, Neil Wagner (1-67) and Williamson (0-17).
No doubt buoyed by Chanderpaul’s unbeaten century and with 367 runs on the board, the West Indies struck early in New Zealand’s reply when Hamish Rutherford was superbly caught and bowled for 10 by the athletic Sammy (1-17) with the score on 18 for one.
The obdurate Peter Fulton was next to go in the 22nd over when, having faced 71 deliveries for just 11, he edged Narine to Sammy at leg slip who took another excellent catch.
With the Black Caps at 43 for two it was left to Williamson and Taylor to rebuild the innings by putting on a fine 95-run partnership before Narine struck again by trapping the former leg before wicket on 58.
Incoming batsman McCullum (11 not out) and Taylor (58 not out) then batted out the remaining eight overs left in the day with the threatening Narine bowling in tandem with fellow spinner Permual.
With New Zealand at 156 for three at the close – still 211 runs adrift of the West Indies - the match is now evenly poised going into day three at Seddon Park.
© Cricket World 2013