Powell, Gayle put WI on top

 Openers Chris Gayle and Kieran Powell plundered career-defining hundreds with dominant batting, putting the West Indies in a superior position against New Zealand in the first Test here.

Gayle celebrated his long-awaited return to Test whites with an even 150 -- his 14th hundred in Tests -- and Kieran Powell fulfilled his immense promise with 134 -- his maiden hundred -- to build the foundation on which the West Indies reached 442 for six on Friday, replying to New Zealand’s first innings total of 351, at the close on the third day.

Assad Fudadin, another left-hander, enhanced his reputation with a resolute 55, Narsingh Deonarine was unbeaten on 54, and Marlon Samuels made 28 to underline the West Indies’ dominance on a true Vivian Richards Cricket Ground pitch.

Before lunch, Gayle, playing a Test for the first time in more than 19 months, reached his milestone from 149 balls, when he greeted Chris Martin’s first ball of the day with a pull high over mid-wicket for his second six.

Score Board

NEW ZEALAND (I Innings): 351
WEST INDIES (I Innings, O/n: 145/0):
Gayle c M’Cullum b W’son    150
Powell c V Wyk b Wagner    134
Fudadin c M’Cullum b W’on    55
Samuels b Martin    28
C’paul c Van Wyk b Martin    0
Deonarine (batting)    54
Ramdin b Bracewell    3
Sammy (batting)    8
Extras (LB-9, NB-1)    10
Total (for 6 wkts, 138 overs)    442
Fall of wickets: 1-252, 2-304, 3-355, 4-355, 5-410, 6-428
Bowling: Martin 23-6-109-2, Bracewell 25-4-81-1, Wagner 28-6-103-1, Vettori 42-12-93-0, Williamson 20-2-47-2.

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