Windies 97-3 in reply but Gayle thwarts NZ

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New Zealand's bowler Trent Boul, right, reacts as West Indies opening batsmen Chris Gayle, left, and Kieran Powell, center, run between the wickets on the third day of their first cricket Test match in Kingston, Jamaica, Tuesday, June 10, 2014. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Hometown favourite Chris Gayle hit an unbeaten 59 but New Zealand's spinners shared three wickets as the West Indies reached 97-3 at lunch on the third day of the opening cricket test at Sabina Park on Tuesday.

The hosts were still 411 runs adrift of the Kiwis' mammoth first-innings total of 507-8 declared.

Gayle, in his 100th test, slammed 10 fours off 115 balls in 2½ hours.

Fellow veteran Shivnarine Chanderpaul was unbeaten on 10 at the break.

Mark Craig, the offspinner on debut, took 2-23 while legspinner Ish Sodhi grabbed 1-30.

Gayle and fellow left-hander Kieran Powell, after resuming on 19-0, stretched their opening stand to 60 before the spin duo dramatically altered the mood with three wickets in the space of 11 balls.

Craig claimed Powell and Kirk Edwards in the same over. Powell was leg before wicket as he prodded tentatively forward and Edwards edged low to first slip.

Powell struck three fours in 28 while Edwards fell for a second-ball duck.

Darren Bravo also failed to score, chipping a return catch to Sodhi in the next over as the hosts slipped to 61-3.

Gayle lifted the mood around the stand by reaching his 50 off 104 balls with his 10 boundary.

He and Chanderpaul shared an enterprising, unbroken stand of 36 in 28 minutes before the break.