Blackwood, Joseph delay the inevitable in first NZ vs WI Test

New Zealand were on the brink of a big innings win over West Indies when stumps were drawn after the third day’s play in the first Test.

West Indies, who were six down for 196 in the second innings after being forced to follow on, are still 185 runs behind. They had capitulated for 138 in the first innings as the New Zealand pace attack, led by Tim Southee who got four wickets for 35, did not allow any of the visiting batsmen to reach even 30.

Trent Boult took one for 30 while Kyle Jamieson and Neil Wagner took two wickets each.

The West Indians had begun well in the first innings with openers Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell putting on a half-century stand for the first wicket but then they lost three wickets for just two runs. They could never recover from there.

In their second innings, West Indies got off to a very poor start, getting reduced to 27 for four. It seemed like they would become the fifth team in Test history to get bowled out twice in a day in Test cricket.

However, an unbroken seventh-wicket century partnership between Jermaine Blackwood and Alzarri Joseph saw the Windies take the game into the fourth day.

The two, who have added 107 runs so far, took the team to 196 for six at stumps, helping them recover from a precarious 89 for six.

Blackwood was unbeaten on 80 with the help of nine fours and two sixes while Joseph was unbeaten on 59.

NZ have scored eight wins by more than an innings and 100 runs while their biggest margin of victory by runs was against Sri Lanka in Christchurch in 2018 (423).

Brief scores: New Zealand 519/7 declared vs West Indies 138 (T Southee 4/35, K Jamieson 2/25, N Wagner 2/33, T Boult 1/30) and 196/6 (J Blackwood 80*, A Joseph 59*, N Wagner 2/62)