Hamilton: New Zealand's Ross Taylor continued his impressive series with an unbeaten half-century on Friday, guiding the hosts to 156-3 after day two of the third Test in response to the West Indies' 367. (Scorecard)
Taylor was 56 not out at stumps and has now scored 416 runs in the series while being dismissed only once. Brendon McCullum was not out on 11. Taylor's efforts followed a similarly impressive performance by West Indies veteran Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who scored his 29th Test century to boost the tourists' total.
Chanderpaul's unbeaten 122 lifted him to sixth place on the list of all-time Test run scorers, and gave the West Indies hope of winning the Test and squaring the series.
The day was probably the most competitive of the series as Chanderpaul helped the West Indies tail add 81 for their last four wickets and the West Indian spin bowlers then forced the New Zealanders to work hard for runs.
Though Taylor and Kane Williamson put on a 95-run stand for the third wicket, giving New Zealand a platform upon which to challenge the West Indies' first-innings total, the Black Caps face the prospect of batting last on a wicket that will favor spinners Sunil Narine and Veerasammy Permaul.
"We won the toss and chose to bowl so you've got to suck it up a little bit," New Zealand bowling coach Shane Bond said. "We're only a couple of hundred runs behind and Ross is scoring runs. If we can get 100 runs ahead, it will be difficult for them as well.
"There has been a lot made of Narine coming back into the team and the variation he offers. The guys have found it challenging but for the rest of the batsman tomorrow it's a case of getting set, getting in, getting a good look at him and if they can do that, as Ross showed, you can score runs."
Narine had a compelling contest with the New Zealand batsmen, removing opener Peter Fulton, and then trapping Williamson (58) lbw approaching stumps to break that fruitful partnership.
Narine, playing his first Test of the series, had 2-43 from 22 overs and troubled the New Zealand batsmen with his variety of flight and turn. He and Permaul had bowled 45 of the 64 overs.
Earlier, Chanderpaul started the day on 94 not out, needing only four runs to pass Australia's Allan Border and to move into sixth place on the all-time list. Chanderpaul accomplished that quickly, then reached his 29th Test century, kneeling and kissing the Seddon Park pitch in thanks.
Only Sachin Tendukar, who retired in November with a record 15,921 runs, Ricky Ponting (13,378), Rahul Dravid (13,288), Jacques Kallis (13,140) and West Indies great Brian Lara (11,953) are ahead of Chanderpaul in career runs.
The first Test was drawn after last-session rain prevented a looming New Zealand victory, and the hosts won the second Test by an innings and 83 runs.