New Zealand’s push for an innings victory over the West Indies in the first Test was stalled on the third day – Saturday – by a counter-attacking partnership for the tourist’s seventh wicket between Jermaine Blackwood and Alzarri Joseph.
When the West Indies was reduced to 30 for four at tea, then 89 for six in its second innings, it seemed it was fated to become only the fifth team in Test history to be dismissed twice in one day. Its position was direr because wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich could not bat in either innings because of a broken finger.
But Blackwood and Joseph combined in an undefeated partnership, which broke the dominance of the New Zealand bowlers and was worth 107 runs at stumps. While New Zealand still leads by a mammoth 185 runs, the West Indies had the pair to thank for bringing some respectability.
Blackwood, the West Indies’ last recognised batsman, led the stubborn resistance and was 80 not out, having hit nine fours and two sixes. Joseph, attempting to establish himself as an all-rounder, achieved his maiden Test half-century and was 59 not out.
The duo played aggressively and managed to hit the New Zealand bowlers off the lengths which had been so successful earlier in the day. Its 100-run partnership came off only 111 balls.