Antigua - An outstanding opening stand of 254
from Chris Gayle (150) and Kieran Powell (134) helped West Indies build a
91 run lead with four first innings wickets remaining after the third
day of play in the first Test in Antigua.
The Caribbean side were
442 for six at the close and while New Zealand will take some comfort
from a good effort in the evening session, West Indies are well in
The home side resumed on 145-0 at the Sir Vivian Richards
Stadium in North Sound and Gayle and Powell were still unbeaten by
lunch, the former having brought up his 14th century with a six off
Gayle's ton came in his first Test innings in 19
months and was the perfect reminder of just what West Indies have been
missing during his absence, caused by a row with the regional cricket
The big-hitting left-hander departed shortly after lunch though when he holed out to Brandon McCullum off Kane Williamson.
Powell, who had not surprisingly played second fiddle for most of the
partnership, took over after reaching his maiden Test century - the
first time since 1999 that both West Indies openers made a century in
the same innings.
His landmark secured, Powell powered on but
finally departed, giving Neil Wagner his first Test wicket, as he edged
to keeper Kruger van Wyk.
Marlon Samuels made 28 before he was
bowled by Chris Martin and he was quickly followed by Shivnarine
Chanderpaul, caught behind off Martin on his first ball.
wickets offered the Kiwis some hope of limiting West Indies' lead but
Narsingh Deonarine (54 not out) and Assad Fudadin (55) pushed the
Caribbean side on.
There was some late joy for the tourists
though with Fudadin finding McCullum off Williamson and then Denesh
Ramdin played on a short delivery from Doug Bracewell.
Darren Sammy joined Deonarine and he will surely be looking for some
quick runs early on Saturday on a pitch that still appears comfortable
for batting on.