BRIDGETOWN - Kane Williamson's second century of the series put New Zealand in a comfortable position at 260 for five in their second innings, a lead of 236, at lunch on the fourth day of the third and final Test at Kensington Oval on Sunday.

His unbeaten 121, the seventh Test hundred of his career, and the support of all-rounder Jimmy Neesham (51) in a fifth-wicket partnership of 91, tilted the balance of an intriguing match which saw the West Indies making the ideal start to the day with the wicket of Brendon McCullum in the fourth over. New Zealand's captain fell for 25, lbw to Kemar Roach to become the fast bowler's 99th Test wicket and leave the visitors uncertainly placed at 135 for four, only 111 runs ahead.

However, Williamson, who put on 67 for the fourth wicket with his skipper, found another capable partner in Neesham, the left-hander stealing the spotlight from his senior partner in hoisting four sixes during an entertaining innings in which he did not allow the bowlers to settle. Occupying the vital number three position in the batting order, Williamson's innings was one of calm assurance before lunch, in contrast to the start of his effort on the third evening when he edged a delivery from Roach at catchable height between wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin and first slip Chris Gayle, and also could have been stumped down the leg-side off the first delivery by spinner Shane Shillingford.

He started the morning by going after Shillingford, lofting him for four over long-on and never looked back, reaching the century in 249 minutes off 173 balls with 15 fours. Neesham, who played well for 78 in the first innings before being run out, completed his second half-century of the match but perished playing one attacking shot too many. In the second over of the day from debutant Jason Holder, he drove powerfully but straight to Kraigg Brathwaite at short extra-cover. Pugnacious wicketkeeper-batsman B.J. Watling, on 15, will resume after the interval with Williamson.

Earlier on Saturday night, Neil Wagner, whose wickets of Bravo and Shivnarine Chanderpaul in the morning session were critical to limiting the Caribbean side's progress from their overnight 169 for two, added the scalp of Sulieman Benn after lunch to finish with the best figures of four for 64. New Zealand had aspirations of actually earning a minimal first innings lead when Trent Boult made good use of the second new ball, trapping West Indies captain Ramdin leg-before for 45 and dispensing with new batsman Roach to a catch at the wicket to reduce the hosts to 277 for seven. owever, Holder and Shillingford put on 36 for the eighth wicket.

Given the responsibility of an all-rounder in a weakened batting line-up, Holder played well for 38 until he gloved an attempted hook off Neesham to become another B.J. Watling victim behind the stumps. His demise triggered the final slide with the last three wickets going down for just four runs, Wagner uprooting Benn's off-stump and Neesham yorking Jerome Taylor to wrap up the innings.




(OVERNIGHT: 169-2):

C Gayle c Rutherford b Craig    42

K Brathwaite c Southee b Wagner    68

K Edwards c Rutherford b Southee    58

D Bravo c Williamson b Wagner    24

S Chanderpaul c Watling b Wagner    15

D Ramdin lbw Boult    45

J Holder c Watling b Neesham    38

K Roach c Watling b Boult    0

S Shillingford not out    10

S Benn b Wagner    1

J Taylor b Neesham    1

EXTRAS: (b2, lb4, w7, nb2)    15

TOTAL: (97.1 overs, all out)    317

FOW: 1-79, 2-153, 3-197, 4-205, 5-240, 6-277, 7-277, 8-313, 9-316, 10-317

Bowling: Boult 23-5-71-2, Southee 21-8-63-1, Craig 18-2-90-1, Wagner 27-7-64-4, Williamson 2-0-11-0, Neesham 6.1-1-12-2


(OVERNIGHT: 123-3):

T Latham c Shillingford b Roach    0

H Rutherford c wkpr Ramdin b Roach    19

K Williamson not out    121

R Taylor c Bravo b Holder    6

B McCullum lbw Roach    25

J Neesham c Brathwaite b Holder    51

BJ Watling not out    15

EXTRAS: (b16, lb1, w6)    23

TOTAL: (70 overs, 5 wkts)    260

FOW: 1-1, 2-56, 3-68, 4-135, 5-226

BOWLING: Taylor 11-4-36-0, Roach 15-2-46-3, Benn 21-1-75-0, Holder 10-2-26-2, Shillingford 13-2-60-0

UMPIRES: Ian Gould (ENG), Richard Illingworth (ENG)

TV UMPIRE: Rod Tucker (AUS)

MATCH REFEREE: Javagal Srinath (IND)

MATCH REFEREE: Javagal Srinath (IND)