Wellington: The batsmen were clinical in their approach to taking charge of the first Test, but it will be Colin de Grandhomme’s spectacular maiden Test century which many will remember.
Coming in at seven, the Auckland all-rounder blasted the second fastest Test century by a New Zealander and equal ninth fastest ever.
Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls and debutant Tom Blundell all made half-centuries, as the Kiwis charged to 447-9 at stumps a comadning lead of 313 runs.
Wellington treated fans to another belter on Saturday, with a healthy crowd building on the banks as Jeet Raval and Ross Taylor resumed for the Kiwis at 85-2. With the Windies needing early wickets, the pair saw out an important first hour, before Raval edged the best delivery of the day from Kemar Roach to depart for 37.
Nicholls joined Taylor at 109-3 and both looked comfortable as they quickly took the New Zealand to a first-innings lead. Both took on the short ball, with Nicholls in particular scoring the majority of his runs on the back foot.
The Canterbury product had a lucky reprieve when he edged one off a Jason Holder no-ball, but made the most of his second chance, putting on 125 for the fourth wicket with Taylor.
Matching the mentor… That was the headline ready for tomorrow’s papers, with Taylor making his way towards his 17th Test century - the same number as that of late mentor, Martin Crowe.
Seven runs away from the milestone, Taylor initially survived the appeal from Roach, but a review from Holder would show three red lights. While missing out on the milestone was disappointing, the job he’d done had the Blackcaps sitting pretty.
Facing a deficit of 300 makes things pretty tough for the Windies. The Basin Reserve pitch certainly doesn’t have too many demons in it though, so the NZ will have to be on top of their game with the ball to keep the visitors under pressure.
de Grandhomme makes it look so easy. Looked right at home from the moment he walked out to the middle and nochulantly belted back-to-back boundariees off the back-foot.
Sure the situation was ripe for the picking, but the powerful right hander more than manipulated.
His first 50 coming off 44 balls and his next off just 27 as he raced to the ninth fastest Test century ever and the second fastest by a New Zealander. He struck 11 fours and two sixes as he treated the strong afternoon crowd at the Basin to some seriously clean hitting.