Antigua: Chris Gayle struck 150 and fellow opener Kieran Powell made 134 on Friday as the West Indies closed on 442 for 6 and a first-innings lead of 91 on the third day of the first Test against New Zealand at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
Veteran Gayle, playing his first Test for 18 months, slammed 17 fours and four sixes in his 14th Test century while Powell's maiden ton was laced with 22 fours and one six. The pair anchored the hosts' domination after they resumed on 145 for no loss, stretching their opening stand to 254 before they were separated 30 minutes after lunch.
Two more left-handers, Assad Fudadin (55) and Narsingh Deonarine (54 not out) helped build on the work done by the openers. Part-time off-spinner Kane Williamson led New Zealand with 47 for 2 while pacer Chris Martin claimed 109 for 2.
Gayle and Powell continued where they left off on day two with broad-batted resistance against the visitors on a true surface. Gayle, resuming on 85, passed three figures 30 minutes into the day when he swatted Martin over midwicket for six. The century was Gayle's third against New Zealand.
Powell, 10 years younger than Gayle and playing in his 10th test, had a nervous wait on 96 not out at lunch, but quickly passed three figures on resumption, off 242 balls with a meaty pull through square leg off Neil Wagner.
Williamson finally provided the breakthrough when Gayle miscued a big hit and holed out to long-off. The pair's stand, the ninth double century opening stand for the West Indies in tests, took just over five hours.
Gayle, who was let off on 36 by Daniel Flynn off Doug Bracewell on day two, also benefited from a chance on 142 when Ross Taylor failed to hold a slip catch after an edge off Williamson rebounded from the wicketkeeper Kruger van Wyk.
After Gayle's dismissal, Powell dominated a second-wicket stand of 50 with Fudadin. The 22-year-old Powell was beginning to flourish, slamming three successive boundaries off left-armer Wagner before he tried for a fourth and edged a wide ball through to van Wyk.
New Zealand hit back in the final session with Martin dismissing Marlon Samuels (28) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul off successive balls. Samuels, who hit four fours and a six, played away from his body and dragged onto leg stump while Chanderpaul gloved a nasty lifter to the wicketkeeper.
Fudadin and Deonarine put together a fifth-wicket stand of 55 to stem the New Zealand momentum. But Fudadin, after facing 165 balls and hitting seven fours, holed out in similar fashion to Gayle off Williamson. Denesh Ramdin fell cheaply, bowled by Doug Bracewell off the under edge, as the visitors rallied again.
Deonarine, who faced 87 balls and struck five fours and a six, survived to the close with skipper Darren Sammy on 8 not out.