Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Denesh Ramdin rebuilt West Indies' first innings with a 200-run partnership to guide their side to 289 for six at the close of play on the first day of the third and final Test against New Zealand.
Chanderpaul was in sight of his 29th Test century on 94 with captain Darren Sammy on nought at stumps in Hamilton after wicketkeeper Ramdin was dismissed for 107, his fourth century, with three overs remaining in the day.
The pair had manufactured a salvage operation after they had been thrust together with West Indies in deep trouble at 86-5 after the home attack had taken four wickets for nine runs in the hour following lunch.
Both men rode their luck, however, with New Zealand's bowlers frustrated as balls flew just short or wide of fielders, while Ramdin was dropped twice after he passed 50.
Ramdin brought up his century when he flashed a Trent Boult delivery over backward point for his 18th boundary, though he had earlier been dropped by Kane Williamson and by Tim Southee.
He did not last much longer after passing the milestone, jamming down on a Corey Anderson delivery that caught the edge and flew to wicketkeeper BJ Watling with the umpires checking to see if the ball had hit the ground first.
Chanderpaul and Ramdin's partnership ensured the visitors ended the day with a marginal points victory after losing the toss and being asked to bat first.
"It looks a pretty good wicket but we have bowled on flatter and slower wickets before so it's no excuse," Southee told Radio Sport when asked if the pitch had given them much assistance throughout the day. "It is a good cricket wicket.
"Ramdin played extremely well. He came out and played his shots and had a good innings so it was nice to get a fresh one (batsman) out there for the morning."
Kieran Powell was the only wicket to fall in the first session when he tried to cut a rising Neil Wagner delivery, having tried a similar shot earlier but missing the ball, to be caught by Watling for 26.
New Zealand's pace bowlers then seized the initiative when they took four wickets for nine runs in the hour after lunch.
The visitors, who must win the match to halt Brendon McCullum's side from winning their first Test series against a major cricketing nation since 2006, were 71-1 at lunch, with Kraigg Brathwaite well set on 41 and Kirk Edwards on three.
The dismissal of Brathwaite sparked the collapse when he was unable to get over the top of a Southee delivery that reared off a length and steered it to Williamson in the gully for 45.
Edwards followed shortly after for six when he got a faint edge to a Southee delivery before Marlon Samuels then wafted at a wide Anderson ball without moving his feet and Williamson took the sharp catch in the gully.
Anderson struck again shortly after when he trapped Narsingh Deonarine in front for two which left the visitors' struggling.
"We got some stern words at lunchtime because our standards are higher than what we showed in that first session," Southee added.
"After lunch, we bowled very well and managed to throw a few wickets on top to make it look better.
"It was a disappointing middle to end of the day but good to pick up that one at the end of the day.
"We will take a look at it and I think there is room for improvement... and hopefully we can finish them up tomorrow."