West Indies vs. New Zealand, 2nd Test: Day 4 Video Highlights, Scorecard, Report

Chris TealeFeatured ColumnistJune 19, 2014

West Indies bowler Sulieman Benn, center, is congratulated by teammates after taking the wicket of New Zealand's batsman Jimmy Neesham, who was caught by Benn for 7 runs, during the second innings on the fourth day of their second cricket Test match in Port of Spain, Trinidad, Thursday, June 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)
Arnulfo Franco/Associated Press

West Indies look set to level their Test series against New Zealand after restricting the tourists to a lead of just 18 runs with two wickets remaining in Trinidad.

The Kiwis closed on 257-8 after struggling with the bat, thanking BJ Watling and Mark Craig for digging in at the end to prevent a sooner defeat.

New Zealand started the day on 73-1, behind by 166 but with two established batsmen at the crease, but it would not take long for the first wicket to fall.

Tom Latham had looked comfortable, but on 36 he could do little with a superb spinning delivery from Sulieman Benn but lob a simple catch to Kraigg Brathwaite.

Soon after, Kane Williamson would reach his fifty, and alongside Ross Taylor looked to be moving New Zealand towards parity.

Neither were scoring particularly quickly, but both were doing well to blunt some consistent bowling from the West Indians.

Arnulfo Franco/Associated Press

However, shortly after bringing up the New Zealand 100, Williamson would perish, as Kemar Roach forced him to edge through to Denesh Ramdin, who took an easy catch.

Jimmy Neesham did not last long before being caught and bowled by Benn for seven, and at lunch the Kiwis were 129-4, with Taylor 28 not out and BJ Watling alongside him.

After the break, the pair looked to be building a decent partnership, but it was again broken as Shannon Gabriel forced a loose drive from Taylor, who nicked through to Ramdin for 36.

It was a disappointing end for Taylor, who had worked so hard for his runs against some disciplined bowling, and left New Zealand in trouble at 153-5 and still in arrears.

All was not lost for the Black Caps, as opener Hamish Rutherford came in at No. 7, having struggled with illness during the West Indians’ first innings to join Watling.

West Indies vs. New Zealand, 2nd Test, Day 4 Scorecard
New Zealand 2nd InningsWest Indies 1st Innings 460New Zealand 1st Innings 221
T. Lathamc Brathwaiteb Benn36195138
B. McCullumlbwb Taylor33017
K. Williamsonc Ramdinb Roach52215178
R. Taylorc Ramdinb Gabriel3612588
J. Neeshamc and bBenn72215
B. WatlingNot Out38150
H. Rutherfordlbwb Taylor135834
I. Sodhic Ramdinb Roach143130
T. Southeec Edwardsb Roach152112
M. CraigNot Out29102
Extras2nb 1w 9b 2lb14
TotalLead by 18257-8127 overs
J. Taylor258462
K. Roach216533
S. Gabriel193561
S. Benn4919622
C. Gayle133290

However, having applied himself well, he left one alone from Jerome Taylor but saw the ball cannon into his pads for an easy leg before wicket decision.

Ish Sodhi would help Watling take New Zealand to tea for no further loss, with the Kiwis 181-6 at the end of the afternoon session, still 58 runs behind their hosts.

In the evening, Sodhi would apply himself and reach double figures, and having frustrated West Indies he would fall as he edged through to Ramdin off Roach.

He was followed by Tim Southee, who played in typically aggressive fashion for 15—including two fours and one six—but he would be removed with the score on 212.

Looking to work the ball toward midwicket off Roach, Southee got a big leading edge and saw Kirk Edwards take a brilliant diving catch at cover to end his innings.

That brought Mark Craig to the crease, and alongside Watling he worked hard to help drag New Zealand back ahead of their opponents.

Arnulfo Franco/Associated Press

The pair applied themselves well and showed superb discipline, with Craig in particular looking to block at almost every opportunity and not play any reckless shots.

They would take New Zealand into the lead before the end of the day and then past 250 for no further losses despite some consistent West Indian bowling.

The Black Caps would close on 257-8, with Watling unbeaten on 38 and Craig on 29 not out, but their lead stands at just 18 with a full day’s play still remaining.

The away side will be disappointed not to build a bigger lead given the batsmen at their disposal, but they were victims of some brilliant West Indian bowling.

On the fifth day, the home side are almost certain of a success, barring torrential rain or a miraculous New Zealand recovery.