PORT OF SPAIN:Two more wickets in the afternoon session moved the West Indies closer to a series-levelling victory with New Zealand at 181 for six in their second innings, still trailing by 59 runs, at tea on the fourth day of the second Test at Queen’s Park Oval today.
Fast bowlers Shannon Gabriel and Jerome Taylor were the successful bowlers as the Black Caps contributed to their own predicament with some painfully slow scoring, adding just 52 runs in the two hours’ play.
Gabriel, the burly paceman, claimed the prized scalp of Ross Taylor, who edged a loose drive to wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin and departed for 36.
Hamish Rutherford, who was unable to open the batting because of an upset stomach that kept him off the field on the third day, looked unconvincing during his hour-long stay at the crease, eventually falling to an error of judgment, offering no shot to a Taylor inswinger to be ruled lbw for 13.
While he toiled without success through the session, Sulieman Benn kept the pressure on the New Zealand batsmen from one end.
He had bowled unchanged from the start of the day with the exception of one over when he was off the field.
In the morning session, the gangling Barbadian left-arm spinner dislodged Tom Latham for 36 to a catch at silly point for the first wicket of the day.
While the obdurate opening batsman could claim to be undone by awkward bounce extracted out of the bowler’s footmarks, there was nothing but the brilliance of Benn’s catching off his own bowling to account for the demise of Jimmy Neesham.
Looking to counter-attack the spinner with one of his trademark powerful off-drives, the left-hander stood in disbelief as Benn flung himself to his right to come up with the sensational catch, a dismissal that was celebrated by his team-mates in a manner to suggest that they were almost as stunned as the batsman.
In between those two wickets by the slow bowler, the persevering Kemar Roach found a further lease of life when he had Kane Williamson caught behind for 52.
The classy right-hander had played with admirable discipline in a 75-run second-wicket partnership with Latham and looked set to participate in another useful stand with Taylor.
But Roach drew him into following a delivery wide of off-stump to offer a straightforward catch to Ramdin, ending his three-and-a-half-hour occupation of the crease.AFP