HAMILTON: The West Indies claimed the vital wickets of Jeet Raval and Kane Williamson but New Zealand held the upper hand on day one of the second Test in Hamilton on Saturday.
At tea, New Zealand were 173 for three with Ross Taylor on nine and Henry Nicholls on five.
Raval, searching for a maiden century, was removed just before the end of the middle session for 84, his second-highest Test score.
It was the sixth half century for the India-born Raval who has a top score of 88 against South Africa in March and an average of 47.61.
After progressing to 84 against the West Indies off 157 deliveries, Raval sent an edge from Shannon Gabriel through to wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich.
It came as he was starting to show frailties after a putting on 89 for the second wicket with Williamson, and in the previous Gabriel over Raval survived an appeal for a similar dismissal when replays showed the ball came off his pads.
New Zealand need only to draw in Hamilton to claim the series after inflicting an innings defeat on the West Indies in the first Test.
The West Indies started out Saturday winning the toss but despite the loss of three wickets New Zealand have not been under serious pressure.
Gabriel and Kemar Roach struggled to find a consistent line and length when the ball was new and lacked the hostility to trouble New Zealand when they took one for 87 before lunch.
There was more venom in the attack during the middle session with the eventual reward two for 86, although Williamson’s dismissal was more batsman error than good bowling.
Williamson, who made only one in his sole bat in the first Test, had reached 43 when he chased a Miguel Cummins delivery that was heading down leg side and sent a faint edge to Dowrich.
It was the second wicket for Cummins, the most impressive of the West Indies bowlers, who before lunch used the short ball to lure Tom Latham (22) into the hook shot which was top-edged to the keeper.
Cummins has two for 29 off 12 overs while Gabriel, whose first two overs cost 22runs has one for 61 off 13.-AFP