Wellington: Off-spinner Sunil Narine was causing all sorts of consternation for New Zealand`s batsmen as they reached 76 for two at tea on the second day of the third and final test on Friday in reply to West Indies` first innings of 367.
Kane Williamson was on 34, while Ross Taylor was 15 not out at the break, still 291 runs behind West Indies after New Zealand`s openers were dismissed with two brilliant catches to Darren Sammy.
Hamish Rutherford (10) was the first wicket to fall when he hit a full-blooded on-drive back to the West Indies captain who plucked the ball centimetres above the pitch on the first stride of his follow-through.
The tall all-rounder then took a brilliant reflex catch in Narine`s first over when Peter Fulton (11) produced a leg glance off the full face of the bat only for Sammy to somehow take the ball low down at leg slip.
The 25-year-old Narine coaxed several false shots from Williamson and Taylor with his variation and flight, leaving them in two minds whether to use their feet to come down the pitch or to play back.
The visitors had earlier resumed on 289 for six, with Shivnarine Chanderpaul quickly passing former Australia captain Allan Border to be sixth on the all-time run-scoring list when he tucked a ball behind square for two runs to move to 98.
The 39-year-old lefthander then brought up his 29th test century shortly after when he cut Tim Southee to the backward point fence at Seddon Park in Hamilton for his 11th boundary.
New Zealand had looked like they could run through the visitors` tail when Southee had Sammy caught for three and Trent Boult bowled Narine for two to leave them at 307 for eight.
Veerasammy Permaul and Tino Best, however, combined with Chanderpaul to add another 60 runs for the final two wickets to frustrate New Zealand`s bowlers.
Best`s dismissal for 25 brought the lunch break about five minutes early with Chanderpaul, who had resurrected the visitors innings in a 200-run partnership with wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin on Thursday, left stranded on 122 not out.
Chanderpaul`s innings took him to 11,199 runs in tests, behind former West Indies batsman Brian Lara in fifth place on 11,953. The recently retired Sachin Tendulkar tops the list with 15,921.
New Zealand hold a 1-0 lead in the series after an innings and 73-run victory at the Basin Reserve in Wellington last week.