Jason Holder and Joshua da Silva drag the Wellington test to the fourth day

West Indies 131 (Blackwood 69, Southee 5-32, Jamieson 5-34) and (f / o) 244 for 6 (Campbell 68, Holder 60 *, Boult 3-75, Jamieson 2-43) New Zealand 460 for 85 runs

Bad light and an uninterrupted position on seventh spot of 74 between Jason Holder and Joshua da Silva have moved the Wellington Test to a fourth day, with the West Indies following and still losing by 85 runs. New Zealand appeared to be on their way to ending the match long before the stumps, but Holder and rookie da Silva seemed to have little trouble on a field that had softened considerably and against an attack that seemed to have grown a bit tired of bowling in back-to-back innings in consecutive test matches.

The tell-tale sign of this possible tiredness was the lack of venom when fast bowlers threw shorts at Holder, which they frequently did with a lot of protection on the side of the leg. Holder was rarely concerned with this mode of attack, as the ball usually bounced too high to disturb him or didn’t bounce high enough. He hit eight fours and two sixes while scoring an undefeated 60-of-89 balls, and eight of those ten limits came via the pull or hook.

Da Silva joined Holder at 170 6 – New Zealand’s lead at that point was 159 – in the third over after tea, after Jermaine Blackwood had been bowled with a full inswinger from Trent Boult. The end seemed close, but da Silva, who often opens for Trinidad and Tobago in domestic cricket, displayed impressive technique and composure, and seemed to have plenty of time to play both attacking and defensive shots, confidently moving forward or forward. back and getting into compact positions. . He finished the day hitting at 25, his only awkward moment was when he was at 11, when he spun too early to hit Tim Southee and took a hit to the helmet.

When play resumes half an hour before Monday, New Zealand will continue to be the favorite to eliminate the remaining four wickets and take 120 points from this series to enrich their chances of reaching the World Trials Championship final at Lord’s. But the West Indies will start the day knowing that the Basin Reserve has seen many epic third-inning backsides in the last six years: Brendon McCullum and BJ Watling against India, Kane Williamson and Watling against Sri Lanka, Kusal Mendis and Angelo Mathews against New Zealand.

However, getting close to the magnitude of those associations will require something of a miracle from Holder and da Silva, because New Zealand’s attack, despite the conditions, has been outstanding in all series and was also outstanding for the most part. on Sunday.

Southee took the last two wickets of the first inning within the first five overs of the day, completing his five-wicket course and finishing with a 329-run lead. There wasn’t much sewing movement to work with when the West Indies followed up for the second test in a row, but New Zealand’s fast bowlers are used to improving home shots at hitting in the second half of test matches.

All four continued to move the ball even as it lost most of its shine, varying its lengths and angles cleverly to make sure the hitters didn’t get into rhythm, and using the short ball for a purpose. Trent Boult made two early breakthroughs, and after John Campbell and Shamarh Brooks resisted a search pace test and posted 89 in 23.1 overs, Neil Wagner and Kyle Jamieson broke into the middle order before Holder, along with Blackwood and then da Silva. repelled his seemingly irresistible urge.

Southee and Boult caused Campbell and Kraigg Brathwaite moments of discomfort with their control and new-ball swing, but the starters overcame it and seemed on a better pace than in the first inning while shooting 37 of 11 overs. Boult then found success working out a plan, targeting Brathwaite’s tendency to launch himself into the air without putting his weight on his front foot. A full ball in the stumps flew to Will Young’s left, parked in the leg ravine for that kind of shot, and he completed a surprising low reception with a full dive.

Three balls later, Boult struck again, a malicious short ball that reared into Darren Bravo’s face. He raised his hands reflectively to protect himself and put the ball with a glove into the ravine.

Campbell and Brooks survived until lunch, and then into the middle of the second session, never quite comfortable, but they found a way to stay inside. Campbell slipped out of his crease to counter the late swing and became more confident on his footwork. as their entries progressed. He put his weight forward as the ball was thrown upward, bending his front knee fully as he drove Jamieson through the sheets shortly before lunch, and later, when Wagner looked to test it with the short ball, he threw it in fours. successive until their fifties.

All four shots came halfway through an absorbing 12-on spell from Wagner, who, instead of using the short ball as his original weapon as he normally does, mixed them with swing and fuller lengths. Brooks went after him, too, with mixed results, taking him up to three-fours in the space of two overs, at the same time that he was hit multiple times on the outside edge while playing for a nonexistent swing. On one of these occasions, the angle of the left arm went over the closed face of Brooks’ bat and hit the back pad, causing a massive lbw appeal. It wasn’t given, with Chris Gaffaney likely acknowledging that the ball could have thrown off the stump of the leg or that it could have passed or left the stump.

New Zealand didn’t review, they had only used one for a catch appeal when Southee grazed Brooks’s thigh pad with an outwinger, and ball tracking suggested the ball was thrown in line and would have hit the top of the stump.

The excited Wagner was quick to get revenge on Brooks. After being driven to the edge of the coverage point, Wagner pulled a ball that went up a long way and went with the angle through the right. Brooks played forward on defense, looking to swing, and got away from the shoulder of his bat.

Having created this opening, New Zealand stormed through it, as Jamieson picked up two in the space of two overs. He first got one to straighten and bounce down the hall for Roston Chase to make a cut on the second slide to complete a pair. Then Campbell kept playing while squeezed for space and hitting with an angled bat.

Blackwood and Holder then added an energetic 36 to each side of tea, before a rush of blood from Blackwood gave Boult his third window.

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo