The only wickets on day three were the West Indies' Keith Powell (40) and Shimron Hetmyer (66) after New Zealand resumed the day at 447 for nine and declared at 520, still with a wicket in hand, and with debutant Tom Blundell unbeaten on 107. Hetmyer, who blazed away in a 94-run stand with Brathwaite for the second wicket, believed that as long as the opener remained at the crease the West Indies were confident of saving the Test. "He is one of the most important batsmen in the team as of now. It feels better, it gives us drive to know that there is Kraigg there so you can be free at your end to play shots," 20-year-old Hetmyer said. "I am very confident batting with Kraigg because he keeps telling me just be yourself and express yourself and enjoy it as much as you can. "To be in this position, 200 plus and only two wickets down, is a very good effort on our behalf."
West Indies close Day 3 in Wellington on 214/2, Kraigg Brathwaite battling to 79* after Tom Blundell's debut century got New Zealand to 520/9d. The visitors still trail by 172 runs #NZvWI pic.twitter.com/uXzSgLDP1d— ICC (@ICC) December 3, 2017
Matt Henry took the two wickets for an economical 33 runs while Neil Wagner, the first innings destroyer, kept the batsmen ducking and weaving but was expensive at none for 89. While Brathwaite offered the West Indies hope, Blundell felt he was an accidental hero who began the day unbeaten on 57 and with no inclination he would end up a century-maker. "Not at all to be honest, I was just going to go out there and let it play out, then I looked up at the scoreboard and I was 85 and then I was like I've got a chance here," he said while acknowledging the role of batting partner and number 11 batsman Trent Boult. "I'm very thankful for the way he batted. He showed some real determination and guts to come out there and face those boys."
Wonderful Wagner! Career best figures of 7/39 from Neil Wagner helps New Zealand bowl West Indies out for 134 in their first innings.— ICC (@ICC) December 1, 2017
SCORECARD: https://t.co/ee4g5CXMVa #NZvWI pic.twitter.com/JtHuqQgcMO