A patient unbeaten 105 from Kane Williamson and some late-in-the-day flaying from Ross Taylor combined to give New Zealand the upper hand in yesterday’s opening day of the first Test against the West Indies at Sabina Park in Jamaica.
Williamson’s sixth Test century, and first against the West Indies, led the tourists to 240-2 at the close in the opener to their three-Test series.
Taylor was unbeaten at stumps on 34, which included six fours.
Earlier, captain Brendon McCullum won the toss and chose to bat on the low and slow pitch, which started taking sharp turn during the day.
New Zealand lost out-of-form opener Peter Fulton for one in the ninth over when he edged a straight one off Jerome Taylor to West Indies wicketkeeper and captain Denesh Ramdin.
Ramdin, in the lead role for the first time, may have hoped for more pressure from his bowlers, six of them used, but they didn’t oblige and the New Zealanders were generally untroubled.
Opener Tom Latham, picked ahead of Hamish Rutherford, was caught off a no ball when on 39 in Taylor’s first over after lunch but the 22-year-old went on to bring up his maiden Test half-century off 126 balls.
On 83, he got a leading edge back to off-spinner Shane Shillingford, which ended a partnership with Williamson of 165 for the second wicket.
The West Indies took the new ball in the 85th over, and Ross Taylor, who hit three centuries against the West Indies at home last year, promptly hit three successive fours through the off side.
Late in the day, Williamson spent 11 overs on 93, but in the penultimate over before stumps took his score past 100 with a late cut for four off Sulieman Benn.
Jerome Taylor ended with figures of 1-22 off 17 overs in his first Test in nearly five years, while Shillingford ended with 1-62 off 24.
The match is West Indies opener Chris Gayle’s 100th Test match and he was presented with a pounamu pendant to mark the occasion.
New Zealand will look forward to bowling last on the pitch after opting for two spinners with off-spinner Mark Craig making his Test debut to partner leg-spinner Ish Sodhi.