Jason Holder and Joshua da Silva featured in a 74-run unbeaten seventh-wicket stand as West Indies kept New Zealand waiting for what looks like another emphatic victory.
Made to follow-on, West Indies were 244 for 6 in their second innings when bad light forced umpires to call stumps early. With two days left in the Test, West Indies are still trailing by 85 runs.
Windies skipper Holder was unbeaten on 60 off 89, with eight fours and two sixes. He pulled and hooked with comfort as the pitch at Basin Reserve eased out considerably.
When debutant Da Silva joined Holder, West Indies were precariously placed at 170 for 6. With Kiwis holding a 159-run lead, a three-day finish seemed on the cards. Also, West Indies’ big hope Jermaine Blackwood (20) had been bowled by an inswinger from Trent Boult. Da Silva though showed impressive composure on debut.
The 22-year-old displayed a compact technique. He looked confident playing off both the front foot and back foot. Apart from getting hit on the helmet by Tim Southee, he showed little discomfort in the middle. Da Silva ended the day on 25 from 39 balls.
Same old story: West Indies batting flounders again
Resuming Day 2 on 124 for 8, Tim Southee quickly knocked off the last two wickets to complete another five-wicket haul. He finished with 5 for 32. West Indies added only seven to their overnight score to concede a 329-run lead.
Nothing much changed for either side in the second innings. Trent Boult reduced West Indies to 41 for 2 within the first 12 overs. Kraigg Brathwaite (24) flicked one to leg gully. Three balls later, Darren Bravo was consumed by a short ball that reared towards his face.
After John Campbell and Shamarh Brooks featured in a stubborn 89-run stand for the third wicket, it was Neil Wagner and Kyle Jamieson’s turn to take over. After a couple of close calls in the partnership, the duo was separated when Wagner ended Brooks’ (36) resistance. A length ball slanted across the right-hander produced extra bounce, enough to find the shoulder of the bat through to the keeper.
New Zealand had the breakthrough they needed, and hurt West Indies further. Roston Chase nicked Jamieson to second slip to complete a pair. Campbell (68) then dragged the bowler on to the stumps, playing with an angled bat.
Following Blackwood’s dismissal, New Zealand would have been hopeful of an early finish. But, Holder and Da Silva, combined with bad light, took the Test into Day 4.