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Century pride for McIntosh

Opener hits maiden Test century to leave contest finely balanced

McIntosh: joy at maiden Test century

New Zealand opener Tim McIntosh was delighted after scoring his maiden Test century against the West Indies.

He hit 136 out of his side's 371 to help the Black Caps secure a 64-run first innings lead over their opponents.

The hosts then reduced the tourists to 62-2 in their second innings to leave the contest finely balanced going into day four, which will be shown live on Sky Sports Xtra on Sunday from 11pm.

It could have been a lot worse for the West Indies as the Black Caps resumed on 145-2, but Fidel Edwards was inspired form - posting a career-best figures of 7-87 - to restrict the hosts.

"We're a little bit disappointed not to kick on as much as we'd like with the bat. We probably feel were a little bit short in runs there," said McIntosh, although he was pleased his team managed to dismiss Sewnarine Chattergoon (25) and Ramnaresh Sarwan (one) late on.

"Certainly to take the two wickets in the evening keeps us in a really good position," he added.

McIntosh took 181 balls to reach his maiden Test fifty but then needed just 104 balls to move from 51 to 103 after resuming the day on 62.

Nice feeling

"It was nice to score some runs a bit freer," he added. "It was a nice feeling to put a bit more momentum into my innings and it started to click better.

"I knew if I stuck it out and grafted a bit (early on) I would be better for it later in the innings. Things seemed to go my way after that."

A couple of loose deliveries from Jerome Taylor helped McIntosh reach the milestone.

"It was a really good feeling. At that stage I was seeing it well and I'd got a bit of momentum going and I was scoring some runs at a reasonable rate. Things just seemed to tick over nicely.

"I happened to get a few loose balls and I managed to get those through. I was just doing my job, batting time, and it all clicked."

Edwards delighted

West Indies hero Edwards was also delighted with his work, saying: ""I just tried to be as aggressive as possible and tried to bowl wicket to wicket.

"It was pretty much my day today and I took full use of it. They are my best figures but hopefully I can push on and get some more wickets."

Edwards believed the key was getting McIntosh out, telling Radio Sport: "I thought McIntosh batted pretty well and patiently. I think he was the one that took the game away from us very early on but when he got out the wickets started falling so it was a bonus for us."

The bowler believes his side can still win and take the series 1-0 which will see them retain seventh spot in the Test rankings.

"It's still a good position for us," he said. "Hopefully if Chris (Gayle) can go on and get a big score and the rest of the batters can push on as well it should be a game for us to win."