Cricket: Black Caps in control

New Zealand bowler Tim Southee celebrates after taking the wicket of Chris Gayle on the third day of the first test. Photo / AP
New Zealand bowler Tim Southee celebrates after taking the wicket of Chris Gayle on the third day of the first test. Photo / AP

New Zealand are in pole position to claim the first test against the West Indies after a dominant third day in Kingston.

The tourists dismissed the home side for 262 midway through today's final session, seizing a first-innings lead of 262 runs, before losing a couple of late wickets to take some gloss off proceedings.

But the Black Caps will still be more than content with the way the match lies heading into the final two days at Sabina Park, with Tom Latham and night watchman Ish Sodhi set to resume tomorrow.

The pair will begin with an advantage of 260 runs in the chase for New Zealand's first test victory overseas since 2012. The chances of achieving that were aided chiefly by paceman Tim Southee and debutant Mark Craig, who combined for eight wickets to rip through the Windies' batting order.

Brendon McCullum opted against enforcing the follow-on, instead giving New Zealand a chance to rack up an unassailable advantage, but that search began poorly when Peter Fulton was caught behind for a two-ball duck.

Fulton's dismissal, slashing at a wide half-volley from Jerome Taylor, came after a failure in the first innings and the opener's days in a black cap could be numbered.

First innings centurion Kane Williamson then shouldered arms to a straightening delivery from Kemar Roach, leaving Latham (8no) and Sodhi (4no) to see their side through to stumps.

Earlier, after beginning the day on 19-0 in reply to New Zealand's 508-7 declared, Craig ended the West Indies' opening partnership by trapping Kieran Powell in front for 28.

The Otago off-spinner struck again just two balls later to remove Kirk Edwards for a duck and, the following over, things got worse for the hosts when Darren Bravo was also dismissed without scoring, the victim of a caught-and-bowled by Ish Sodhi.

The Kiwi spin duo left the Windies teetering at 97-3 at the lunch break, although dangerman Chris Gale was still at the crease, unbeaten on 59. The opener's stint didn't last much longer, however, denied a century in his 100th test when Southee had him caught behind for 64.

Southee followed up that key wicket by trapping Marlon Samuels for a duck, leaving the Windies trailing by more than 400 runs with only five first-innings wickets in hand.

And, after a brief period on consolidation between Shivnarine Chanderpaul (43no) and Denesh Ramdin (39), Southee struck again to remove the Windies' captain and reduce the home side to 176-6 at tea.

Craig made early inroads in the final session of the day, claiming the scalps of Kemar Roach and Sulieman Benn to finish with figures of 4-91 in his first run in the national side, while Southee took the final wicket to fall to record 4-19.

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