West Indies 131 (Blackwood 69, Southee 5-32, Jamieson 5-34) and (f/o) 244 for 6 (Campbell 68, Holder 60*, Boult 3-75, Jamieson 2-43) trail New Zealand 460 by 85 runs
Bad light and an unbroken seventh-wicket stand of 74 between Jason Holder and Joshua da Silva have moved the Wellington Test into the fourth day, with West Indies following-on and still trailing by 85 runs. New Zealand seemed on course to finish the match well before stumps, but Holder and the debutant da Silva looked in little trouble on a pitch that had eased out considerably, and against an attack that seemed to have tired a little from bowling in back-to-back innings in back-to-back Test matches.
The telltale sign of this possible tiredness was the lack of venom when the fast bowlers bowled short to Holder, which they did frequently with plenty of protection on the leg side. Holder was seldom troubled by this mode of attack, with the ball usually either bouncing too high to trouble him or not bouncing high enough. He hit eight fours and two sixes in scoring an unbeaten 60 off 89 balls, and eight of those ten boundaries came via the pull or the hook.
Da Silva joined Holder at 170 for 6 - New Zealand's lead at that point was 159 - in the third over after tea, after Jermaine Blackwood had been bowled slogging at a full inswinger from Trent Boult. The end seemed near, but da Silva - who often opens for Trinidad & Tobago in domestic cricket - showed impressive technique and composure, seeming to have plenty of time to play both attacking and defensive shots, moving confidently forward or back and getting into compact positions. He ended the day batting on 25, his only moment of discomfort coming while on 11, when he swiveled too early into a pull against Tim Southee to get smacked on the helmet.
When play resumes half an hour early on Monday, New Zealand will remain favourites to knock off the four remaining wickets and take a full 120 points from this series to enrich their chances of making the World Test Championship final at Lord's. But West Indies will begin the day knowing that the Basin Reserve has seen plenty of epic third-innings rearguards in the last six years: Brendon McCullum and BJ Watling against India in 2014, Kane Williamson and Watling against Sri Lanka in 2015 and Kusal Mendis and Angelo Mathews against New Zealand in 2018.
Getting anywhere near the magnitude of those partnerships, however, will require something of a miracle from Holder and da Silva, because the New Zealand attack - conditions notwithstanding - has been outstanding all series, and were outstanding for most part on Sunday too.
Southee took the last two first-innings wickets within the first five overs of the day to complete his five-wicket haul and wrap up a 329-run lead. There wasn't a whole lot of seam movement to work with when West Indies followed-on for the second successive Test, but New Zealand's fast bowlers are used to home pitches that get better to bat on in the second half of Test matches.
Their pace quartet continued to swing the ball even when it had lost most of its shine, varied their lengths and angles cleverly to ensure the batsmen didn't get into a rhythm, and used the short ball with purpose. Boult got New Zealand two early breakthroughs, and after John Campbell and Shamarh Brooks had resisted a searching pace examination and put on 89 in 23.1 overs, Neil Wagner and Kyle Jamieson burst through the middle order before Holder, along with Blackwood and then da Silva, repelled their seemingly irresistible momentum.
Southee and Boult caused Campbell and Kraigg Brathwaite moments of discomfort with their control and new-ball swing, but the openers got past that and seemed in better rhythm than in the first innings while putting on 37 in 11 overs. Then Boult found success by working away at a plan, targeting Brathwaite's tendency to flick in the air without getting his weight onto the front foot. A full ball at the stumps flew to the left of Will Young, stationed at leg gully for just that sort of shot, and he completed a stunning low catch with a full-length dive.
Three balls later, Boult struck again, with a spiteful short ball that reared towards Darren Bravo's face. He threw his hands up reflexively to protect himself, only to glove the ball to gully.
Campbell and Brooks survived until lunch, and then on to the drinks break midway through the second session never entirely comfortable, but finding a way to stay in. Campbell batted out of his crease to counter the late swing and grew more confident with his footwork as his innings progressed. He got his weight forward when the ball was pitched up, bending his front knee fully as he drove Jamieson through the covers shortly before lunch, and later, when Wagner looked to test him with the short ball, he pulled him for successive fours to bring up his fifty.
The pulled fours came midway through an absorbing 12-over spell from Wagner, who, rather than use the short ball as his stock weapon as he typically does, mixed them up with swing and fuller lengths. Brooks also went after him - but with mixed results - square-driving him for three fours in the space of two overs, while also getting beaten multiple times on the outside edge while playing for non-existent swing. On one of these occasions, the left-armer's angle took it past Brooks' closed bat face and hit back pad, provoking a massive lbw appeal. It wasn't given, with umpire Chris Gaffaney probably reckoning the ball might have pitched outside leg stump or that it might have carried on past or over off stump.
New Zealand didn't review - they had just used one up for a caught-behind appeal when Southee had grazed Brooks' thigh pad with an outswinger - and ball-tracking suggested the ball pitched in line and would have hit the top of off stump.
But the fired-up Wagner didn't take long to get back at Brooks. Having just been driven to the cover point boundary, Wagner produced a ball that kicked up off a length and went with the angle across the right-hander. Brooks played forward in defence, looking for swing, and edged behind off the shoulder of his bat.
Having created this opening, New Zealand burst through it, as Jamieson picked up two in the space of two overs. First he got one to straighten and bounce in the corridor to get Roston Chase nicking to second slip to complete a pair, before Campbell played on while cramped for room and jabbing with an angled bat.
Blackwood and Holder then added a brisk 36 either side of tea, before a rush of blood from Blackwood gave Boult his third wicket as da Silva joined his captain at the crease to take the fight into another day.
Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo