Windies backing Brathwaite to lead resistance

Opener Kraigg Brathwaite holds the key to West Indies' hopes of survival in the first Test with New Zealand after leading a fightback on day three at Basin Reserve.

The Black Caps have dominated proceedings in Wellington and declared on 520-9 on Sunday, a lead of 386 runs, after Tom Blundell scored a debut century to follow the hundred made by Colin de Grandhomme on Saturday.

Blundell became the first Kiwi wicketkeeper to register a three-figure score on debut, but the tourists showed some resistance in reaching 214-2 at stumps, led by Brathwaite's unbeaten 79.

Shimron Hetmyer shared a 94-run partnership for the second wicket with Brathwaite and the number three was happy to witness the Windies' renewed resolve after capitulating to 134 all out in their first dig.

"He is one of the most important batsmen in the team as of now," Hetmyer said. 

"It feels better, it gives us drive to know that there is Kraigg there so you can be free at your end to play shots.

"I am very confident batting with Kraigg because he keeps telling me just be yourself and express yourself and enjoy it as much as you can.

"To be in this position, 200 plus and only two wickets down, is a very good effort on our behalf."

Blundell spent 35 deliveries navigating the nineties before he was able to raise his bat on his home ground, and hailed a dream come true.

"I had countless times dreaming I'd play for New Zealand and at the Basin, on my home ground," he said.

"I always visualised me doing that in the past, but it was a relief.

"There were a lot of family on the bank. It's a proud day for all my family to be there, that's pretty special."

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