Windies show signs of life after Kiwi debutant scores ton

West Indies battled back as the Caribbean visitors reduced New Zealand's lead to 172 runs with eight wickets remaining at stumps on day three of the opening Test in Wellington.

New Zealand declared on 520-9 - a mammoth lead of 386 - thanks to a memorable debut for Tom Blundell at the Basin Reserve Sunday.

Blundell became the first wicketkeeper-batsman since 2007 to make a century on Test debut after surviving 35 balls in the nineties before raising his bat in celebration.

The 27-year-old put on a last-wicket stand of 78 with Trent Boult after New Zealand resumed on 447-9 thanks to Colin de Grandhomme's blazing hundred Saturday.

But the Windies showed signs of life courtesy of Kraigg Brathwaite (79 not out) and Shimron Hetmyer (66), reaching 214-2 at the close of play.

West Indies crumbled dramatically in their first innings, crashing from 59-0 to 134 all out on day one following Neil Wagner's (0-89) sensational seven-wicket haul.

But the tourists looked more comfortable in the batsmen-friendly conditions as Brathwaite and Hetmyer attacked New Zealand's bowlers.

The Blacks Caps toiled and bowled short, hitting Kieran Powell and Hetmyer in successive overs though the Windies were largely untroubled.

Openers Brathwaite and Powell helped West Indies to 72 without loss before the latter handed his wicket to Matt Henry (2-33), who stuck out his right hand and caught his own delivery.

That did not unsettle the Windies as they continued to go after New Zealand's frontline - Hetmyer smashing Mitchell Santner (0-18) for six, while he produced a sensational shot off Boult's (0-47) bowling.

Hetmyer's entertaining knock eventually came to an end when he edged a Henry delivery to Jeet Raval, West Indies reduced to 166-2.

Brathwaite and Shai Hope (21 not out) kept the runs ticking over, with the Windies now resembling a competitive team heading into the fourth day.

 
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