West Indies and New Zealand are evenly poised at the end of the third day of the third Test in Barbados.
The hosts were bowled out for 317, a lead of 24, then the away side reached 123-3 at the end of the day.
Having lost much of the previous day to rain, play had been due to start at 9:30 a.m. local time, but a wet outfield delayed proceedings by 15 minutes.
When the players emerged into the Bridgetown sunshine, West Indies resumed on 169-2, behind by 124 but with Kirk Edwards and Darren Bravo at the crease.
The West Indians started confidently as both players hit boundaries and looked to push their side into an even stronger position.
However, Bravo departed for just 24 as he chipped a delivery from Neil Wagner to the gully, where Kane Williamson took an easy catch.
Just a few overs later, after the hosts brought up the 200, Edwards was also removed for a solid 58 as he sent a ball from Tim Southee high into the air and saw Hamish Rutherford take a good catch.
That meant the home side were stumbling a little at 205-4, and with an elongated tail would be reliant on Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Denesh Ramdin to put on a big partnership.
Both looked to apply themselves and did so well, and while their scoring rate was not especially fast they managed to blunt much of New Zealand’s bowling attack.
However, on the stroke of lunch, Chanderpaul departed for 15 as he gloved a catch to wicketkeeper BJ Watling off Wagner, meaning his side were 240-5 at the break.
After the interval, debutant Holder came to the crease at No. 7 to join his captain, and the pair applied themselves well to take West Indies closer and closer to their opponents’ total.
|West Indies vs. New Zealand, 3rd Test, Day 3 Scorecard|
|West Indies 1st Innings||New Zealand 1st Innings 293 all out|
|C. Gayle||c Rutherford||b Craig||42||81||53|
|K. Brathwaite||c Southee||b Wagner||68||142||116|
|K. Edwards||c Rutherford||b Southee||58||161||111|
|D. Bravo||c Williamson||b Wagner||24||71||58|
|S. Chanderpaul||c Watling||b Wagner||15||86||49|
|D. Ramdin||lbw||b Boult||45||96||70|
|J. Holder||c Watling||b Neesham||38||115||76|
|K. Roach||c Watling||b Boult||0||9||4|
|S. Shillingford||Not Out||10||76||42|
|S. Benn||b Wagner||1||3||4|
|J. Taylor||b Neesham||1||2||2|
|Extras||2nb 7w 2b 4lb||15|
|Total||317 all out||97.1 overs|
|New Zealand 2nd Innings|
|T. Latham||c Shillingford||b Roach||0||5||9|
|H. Rutherford||c Ramdin||b Roach||19||70||39|
|K. Williamson||Not Out||57||142||99|
|R. Taylor||c Bravo||b Holder||6||13||8|
|B. McCullum||Not Out||23||65||47|
New Zealand took the new ball as soon as it was available, and it would pay immediate dividends as Ramdin was trapped lbw by Boult for 45.
Kemar Roach was the new man but he also departed quickly without scoring as Watling took a brilliant one-handed catch off Boult.
The West Indians had lost two quick wickets and were still in arrears, but Holder and new man Shane Shillingford gradually hauled them past the Kiwis’ 293 and into the lead.
Holder and Shillingford would stay together for a valuable partnership of 36 to take the hosts into the lead before the former gloved behind to Watling off Jimmy Neesham for 38.
The last two wickets fell relatively quickly as Sulieman Benn was bowled by Wagner and Jerome Taylor fell to the same dismissal courtesy of Neesham.
That gave West Indies a lead of just 24 runs, and meant New Zealand would have to face the entire evening session, as tea was taken at the fall of the last wicket.
After the break, Tom Latham fell for a duck as he miscued a pull to midwicket off Roach and saw Shillingford take an easy catch.
Hamish Rutherford and Kane Williamson looked to apply themselves and took their side into the lead and past 50 with few alarms, but then on 56 disaster struck.
Rutherford nicked through to Ramdin off Roach, then soon after Ross Taylor fell for just six as he was caught by Bravo off Holder.
Brendon McCullum then arrived at the crease and looked to be somewhat positive alongside Williamson, who was looking in good form once again and passed 50 before the close.
The Black Caps would reach the end of the day on 123-3, with Williamson unbeaten on 58 and McCullum on 23 not out, with an intriguing fourth day in prospect.