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West Indies in sight of series-levelling win

New Zealand ends fourth day on 257 for 8, leading by only 18 runs with a full day’s play remaining

West Indies in sight of series-levelling win - Cricket News
The West Indies was poised for a series-levelling victory against New Zealand, despite a defiant ninth-wicket stand forcing the match into a fifth and final day.
The West Indies was poised for a series-levelling victory against New Zealand, despite a defiant ninth-wicket stand forcing the match into a fifth and final day. At close of play on Day 4 of the second Test at the Queen’s Park Oval, New Zealand, who trailed by 239 runs on the first innings, had reached 257 for 8 in its second dig, leading by only 18 runs.
 
The West Indies was anticipating an innings victory late on Thursday (June 19), when Tim Southee was the eighth wicket to fall with the score at 212, with more than an hour and a half left in the final session.
 
However, an unbroken 45-run partnership between BJ Watling and Mark Craig for the ninth wicket ensured that the West Indies will have to try to complete the victory on Friday’s final day, and set up the series decider in Barbados next week.

Suliemann Benn, who ended the day with 2 for 62 after persevering for 49 overs of left-arm spin, could have broken the stand between Watling and Craig early, but Jermaine Blackwood didn't get to his hands to a sharp chance at forward short leg when Craig was on 5. 

Resuming the day on 73 for 1, New Zealand began cautiously, but lost opener Tom Latham for 36, caught by Kraigg Brathwaite at point off Benn.

Kane Williamson, who added 75 for the second wicket, has been New Zealand's top-scorer so far, getting to 52 before being caught off Roach, who also accounted for Ish Sodhi and Southee in the final session. 

Ross Taylor departed for 36 when he got a thick edge to be caught behind off medium pacer Shannon Gabriel, and then Hamish Rutherford, who came in at No. 7 after a stomach bug kept him him from opening the innings, lasted for an hour before he offered no shot and was trapped lbw by Jerome Taylor. 

Roach was the leading wicket-taker with 3 for 53, but the bowling honours of the day went to Benn, who operated unchanged throughout the first two sessions but for one over when he was off the field, taking the vital wickets of Latham and Jimmy Neesham in the morning session.
 
New Zealand, who is known to be a side that never gives up, lost wickets regularly giving the West Indies the whiff of an early win after Roaches strikes in the final session, but the late rearguard action from Watling and Craig ensured the home side would have to wait to complete victory.

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