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Windies held up by defiant Kiwi tail

West Indies' hopes of wrapping up victory with a day to spare in the second Test were thwarted by a dogged ninth-wicket stand between New Zealand duo BJ Watling and Mark Craig at Port of Spain.

The hosts had looked poised to claim a series-levelling innings victory as they reduced New Zealand to 212 for eight with the tourists still needing another 28 runs just to make West Indies bat again and with plenty of time left in the day.

However, wicketkeeper Watling and number 10 Craig - in only his second Test - put on an unbroken 45-run stand in 27.3 overs to help New Zealand reach the close on 257 for eight, and a lead of 18.

Watling has faced 150 deliveries so far for his 38 not out, while Craig's unbeaten 29 came off 102 balls, although the Test newcomer did have a life when he was dropped by Jermaine Blackwood on short-leg having scored only five.

Their efforts have ensured the Test will go to the final day, but West Indies will remain confident of claiming the victory - providing the weather holds fair.

A win would be no more than the home side deserve after largely dominating with both bat and ball at Queen's Park Oval, and the victory would already be theirs but for the stubborn resistance of Watling and Craig.

Starting the fourth day on 73 for one, New Zealand were only able to add 11 more runs to their total before opener Tom Latham - the Black Caps’ top scorer in the first innings with 82 - was dismissed for 36, gloving a Sulieman Benn delivery out of the rough to Kraigg Brathwaite.

Two more wickets then fell in the morning session, with Kemar Roach sending back the other overnight batsman Kane Williamson for 52 caught behind and slow left-armer Benn brilliantly snaring Jimmy Neesham caught and bowled for seven.

That left the Black Caps on 129 for four at lunch, and the wickets continued to tumble in the afternoon session with Ross Taylor departing for 36 after edging Shannon Gabriel, before Jerome Taylor trapped Hamish Rutherford lbw for 13.

At tea, New Zealand were still trailing by 58 runs on 181 for six, and when Ish Sodhi and Tim Southee were both snared by Roach, who took 3-52, for the addition of only 31 more runs in the evening session, the end looked nigh.

However, Watling and Craig laid anchor to frustrate the hosts, and they will be hoping to build on that on Friday to at least give the Windies some work to do as they attempt to level up the three-match series at 1-1.

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