WELLINGTON: New Zealand’s bowlers again ripped through West Indies’ batting lineup to push them to the brink of a comprehensive victory in the second and final Test as they reduced the tourists to 244-6 in their second innings at the end of the third day on Sunday.
Bad light forced the players off the Basin Reserve about an hour before the scheduled end and umpires called play off just before 6:00pm local time.
Captain Jason Holder was on 60 and Joshua Da Silva 25 not out as West Indies managed to push the game into a fourth day but they are in danger of another heavy defeat when they return on Monday, still trailing New Zealand by 85 runs.
The hosts, who won the first Test in Hamilton by an innings and 134 runs, scored 460 in their first innings with Henry Nicholls notching his highest Test score of 174.
The visitors were dismissed for 131 in their first innings early on Sunday and stand-in New Zealand captain Tom Latham had little hesitation in enforcing the follow on.
Opener John Campbell (68) and Shamarh Brooks (36) provided some early resistance in their second innings with an 89-run stand for the third wicket.
The rest of the batsmen, however, were again unable to handle New Zealand’s four-pronged pace attack of Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner and Kyle Jamieson and their ability to generate late swing in overcast and chilly conditions.
Holder brought up his ninth Test half century when he pulled a short Wagner delivery to the mid-wicket boundary for his seventh four. He also hit two sixes.
Boult, who did not take a wicket in the first innings, finished the day with 3-75 in the second.
West Indies had resumed their first innings on Sunday on 124-8, still 336 runs behind, but lasted just 4.4 overs as Southee grabbed the last two wickets to finish with 5-32, his 11th five-wicket haul in Tests.
NEW ZEALAND (1st Innings) 460 (H.M. Nicholls 174, N. Wagner 66 not out. W.A. Young 43; S.T. Gabriel 3-93, A.S. Joseph 3-109).
WEST INDIES (1st Innings, overnight 124-8):
K.C. Brathwaite c Taylor b Southee 0
J.D. Campbell c Latham b Jamieson 14
D.M. Bravo c and b Southee 7
S.S.J. Brooks b Jamieson 14
R.L. Chase b Jamieson 0
J. Blackwood c Latham b Southee 69
J.O. Holder c Boult b Jamieson 9
J. da Silva c Watling b Southee 3
A.S. Joseph c Watling b Jamieson 0
C.K. Holder not out 8
S.T. Gabriel b Southee 2
EXTRAS (LB-3, W-1, NB-1) 5
TOTAL (all out, 56.4 overs) 131
FALL OF WKTS: 1-0, 2-22, 3-29, 4-29, 5-97, 6-111, 7-117, 8-117, 9-127.
BOWLING: Southee 17.4-6-32-5; Boult 14-5-34-0; Wagner 12-5-28-0 (1nb); Jamieson 13-4-34-5 (1w).
WEST INDIES (2nd Innings, following on):
K.C. Brathwaite c Young b Boult 24
J.D. Campbell b Jamieson 68
D.M. Bravo c Nicholls b Boult 4
S.S.J. Brooks c Watling b Wagner 36
R.L. Chase c Latham b Jamieson 0
J. Blackwood b Boult 20
J.O. Holder not out 60
J. da Silva not out 25
EXTRAS (B-1, LB-5, W-1) 7
TOTAL (for six wkts, 65.4 overs) 244
FALL OF WKTS: 1-37, 2-41, 3-130, 4-131, 5-134, 6-170.
BOWLING (to-date): Southee 17-4-63-0; Boult 15.4-1-75-3; Jamieson 15-4-43-2 (1w); Wagner 16-4-53-1; Mitchell 2-0-4-0.