Representing his country in the longest format of the game after close to two years, Chris Gayle showed no nerves or rustiness as he pummeled the New Zealand attack during his unbeaten innings of 85. In reply to the Kiwi total of 351, West Indies ended the day at 145/0 with Kieran Powell giving company on 58.
New Zealand who began the day at 232/4 on Day 2, kept losing wickets at regular intervals as Sunil Narine continued weaving a web around the batsmen. He was adequately supported by the pacemen Rampaul and Roach. Dean Brownlie with 23 was the only who who spent some time in the middle. Had it not been for a rapid 39 off 31 balls by number 10 Doug Bracewell, the Kiwis would have ended with a lot lesser than the 351 they got at the end. Martin Guptill who scored 97 on the first day ended as the top scorer, while Sunil Narine got his first five wicket haul in test cricket.
In reply, Gayle came out with a lot of intention. The intention to throw the opposition bowlers out of the park. And like he does so easily in T20 cricket, he got down to dismantling the attack one by one. Powell on the other hand played second fiddle as the bowlers would have been hoping to bowl a lot more to him than his senior partner. Both of them had a reprieve each, off consecutive balls. Gayle was on 36 only when Flynn missed an overhead catch at slip. New Zealand managed to wrest some control on the scoring through the spinners during the latter part of the day.
Knowing the West Indies batting over the years, one can always be assured that a collapse is just around the corner. So New Zealand would do well to not be deflated by the Gayle onslaught. The remaining lead of 200 could still prove to be good enough.