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Didn't assess Hamilton pitch well enough - Gabriel

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WATCH - Highlights of West Indies' fightback (3:51)

West Indies bounced back in the last session of the day, picking up four wickets as New Zealand ended on 286 for 7 (3:51)

Although West Indies "didn't assess the wicket well enough," they would have taken having New Zealand seven down at stumps, according to fast bowler Shannon Gabriel. New Zealand finished the first day in Hamilton at 286 for 7 after they were put in on a grassy surface.

"I think they scored 30 or 40 runs too much, but it was a good day of Test cricket," Gabriel said. "I think if we told ourselves this morning we'd win the toss and have them seven down by the end of the day's play, we'd have taken that.

"I think judging from what happened in the last game, once we win the toss, you back yourself when it's bowler-friendly. But I don't think that was the case on this wicket, I think it was a bit more flat than in Wellington."

West Indies conceded 87 runs in the first session at 3.10 runs per over, and Gabriel allowed 36 of those in six overs. He said West Indies switched tactics at lunch, choosing patience over aggression.

"After lunch, we decided that we wanted to be patient and luckily things happened for us," Gabriel said. "When we started this morning we bowled a little too full - myself. It was a bit soggy, the crease. So my landing was skidding along the wicket, and it was a bit difficult to control my line and my length. But when the sun came out the pitch got a bit dry so it was a little bit easier for me.

"We told ourselves once we soak up the runs and bowl the ball back into the wicket it was going to be a bit difficult to score runs. Once we build that pressure, we know 90% of the time a wicket is going to come. In cricket, you could be 100 for 1 and you could be 150 all out. We just had to believe in ourselves, as a group we always believe in ourselves."

In conditions that assisted seam more than spin, Gabriel backed stand-in captain Kraigg Brathwaite's decision to pick Raymon Reifer over legspinner Devendra Bishoo.

"Most of the guys started well this morning," Gabriel said. "Hats off to Raymon, I think he bowled beautifully, his figures didn't really show how he stuck to his task. The conditions may favour Bishoo a little bit, he's been our No 1 spinner for the past two years, so it's a bit difficult leaving him out. But I think the fast bowlers bowled good enough in the last game to warrant a place in this team for this game."