Black Caps battling to save the second test

11:40, Jun 19 2014
Tom Latham
Tom Latham plays the ball onto the on-side during his innings of 82 on day one.
Sir Richie Richardson, Sir Curtley Ambrose and Sir Richard Hadlee
Sir Richie Richardson, Sir Curtley Ambrose and Sir Richard Hadlee pose with the ICC World Cup trophy before play starts in the second test.
Trent Boult
Trent Boult gets congratulated by BJ Watling after taking the wicket of Chris Gayle.
Ross Taylor
Ross Taylor survives an appeal for an LBW during his innings of 45 not out.
Kane Williamson
Kane Williamson cuts the ball away during New Zealand's first innings.
Tim Southee
New Zealand bowler Tim Southee celebrates the dismissal of West Indies batsman Sulieman Benn on day two of the second test.
BJ Watling
New Zealand keeper BJ Watling stops the ball returned by a fielder during day two of the second test against the West Indies.
Mark Craig
New Zealand spinner Mark Craig reacts with disappointment after Kraigg Brathwaite hits him for four on day two of the second test.
Ish Sodhi
Kirk Edwards is dismissed by New Zealand spinner Ish Sodhi on day two of the second test in Trinidad.
Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum just misses a tough chance to dismiss Darren Bravo on day two.
Kane Williamson
New Zealand batsmen Kane Williamson and Tom Latham look to settle things down on day three of the second cricket test against the Windies.
Kane Williamson
Tom Latham drives the ball late on day three in the second cricket test against the West Indies.
Brendon McCullum
New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum is trapped in front by Jerome Taylor after opening the batting in his side's second innings.
Ish Sodhi
Black Caps spinner Ish Sodhi appeals for an LBW against Shivnarine Chanderpaul during the third day of action in the second test.
Trent Boult
Trent Boult sips water on a warm day in the field in Port-of-Spain.
Kane Williamson
Kane Williamson cuts the ball away during his innings of 38 not out.
Mark Craig
NZ's Mark Craig glides one fine late on day four.
BJ Watling
BJ Watling flicks the ball onto the leg side on day four.
Sulieman Benn
The West Indies celebrate after Sulieman Benn took a superb reflex catch to dismiss Jimmy Neesham on day four.
Ross Taylor
Ross Taylor is dismissed by West Indies seamer Shanon Gabriel on day four.
Kemar Roach
West Indies pace bowler Kemar Roach clebrates the prize wicket of NZ batsman Kane Williamson.

New Zealand's two batsmen of the moment carry the tourists' hopes of saving the second cricket test after another day of West Indies superiority at Port-of-Spain, Trinidad.

Opener Tom Latham (30 not out) and Kane Williamson (38 not out) laid some solid groundwork late on day three, but plenty more tough toil is required as New Zealand reached 73-1 in their second innings at stumps, still trailing by 166.

It took nearly two sessions for the Black Caps' bowlers to polish off the West Indies first innings for 460 as they built a big lead of 239 to remain in the box seat for a series-levelling win.

New Zealand's batsmen will continue the fight without their skipper Brendon McCullum, whose series struggles continued when promoted for the ill Hamish Rutherford to open for the first time since January, 2013 in South Africa.

Rutherford cannot bat higher than No 7, or until 164 minutes have elapsed in the innings, after he left the field for that period due to a stomach upset.

McCullum stepped up to the troublesome spot but couldn't improve on a lean series to date which included scores of seven, 17 and four in the wake of his epic Wellington triple-century against India in February. This time it was three off 17 balls before the West Indies' best bowler Jerome Taylor struck him full on the pad and umpire Ian Gould had no doubt.


The skipper ambitiously challenged the decision but replays didn't save him as they showed the ball cannoning into leg stump, with no inside edge.

Latham has been the batting revelation of the tour for New Zealand while Williamson remains his reliable self. The pair had already combined for two century partnerships, 165 at Kingston and 104 in the first innings of this match, and they played sensibly to last for 35 overs.

There was some early zip for the pacemen then some slow turn for West Indies spinners Sulieman Benn and Chris Gayle as the Queen's Park Oval pitch begins to wear but remains good for batting.

New Zealand need to bat at least another four sessions and well into the final day to make it safe, and go to Barbados for the third test still 1-0 up. Given their impressive batting rearguards in the home summer it's not an impossible task, particularly with no Sunil Narine in the home lineup and Taylor still looking the pick of the attack. It will need one of Latham or Williamson to contribute a big hundred.

The Black Caps hoped to snare the remaining five West Indies wickets in the first session but a belligerent half-century on debut from Jermaine Blackwood thwarted that.

West Indies added 150 to their overnight total as the familiar script continued; Tim Southee and Trent Boult bowling well without luck before the backup bowlers were assaulted.

Blackwood clouted two sixes, giving the West Indies 10 for their innings, in his 63 off 110 balls. He had luck, dropped at short leg on 11 by Latham off Mark Craig then successfully challenging an lbw decision for Williamson on 34 as the hosts twisted the knife.

The spinners struggled again, with Ish Sodhi snaring late wickets to end with 4-96 off 19.1 erratic overs, while Craig had 0-111 off 29 after his eight-wicket haul on debut.

Sodhi trapped Shivnarine Chanderpaul (47) lbw offering no shot, as he did at Kingston, then nicked out Blackwood to finally end his resistance. All-rounder Jimmy Neesham snared his only wicket, captain Denesh Ramdin for a hard-hit 32, having gone for 4.5 runs per over.

Boult had the most impressive New Zealand figures, after battling a fever, ending with 3-75 off 30.