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Port of Spain – New Zealand's late-order defiance and unsettled weather have left the West Indies with an anxious wait to begin the pursuit of 93 for victory after the tourists were eventually dismissed for 331 at the stroke of lunch on the final day of the second Test at Queen's Park Oval on Friday.
Starting the day at 257 for eight, just 18 runs ahead with only two wickets in hand, the Black Caps' ninth-wicket pair of B.J. Watling and Mark Craig extended their partnership to 99, a new record in Tests for New Zealand against the West Indies.
The Caribbean side finally broke through after 80 minutes' play when Craig was caught by wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin for a topscore of 67 off Kemar Roach, giving the paceman his fourth wicket of the innings.
Craig had continued to live a charmed life after being missed when only on five at short-leg off the bowling of spinner Sulieman Benn the previous evening.
In a bizarre sequence of events at the start of the final day, the left-hander edged through the slip cordon, was dropped by Benn at third slip and then had another edge missed by Chris Gayle low to his right at first slip when Ramdin chose not to attempt the catch.
Jerome Taylor was the suffering bowler on each occasion and the situation was made all the more frustrating for the bowler and his team-mates as boundaries were scored each time.
Craig eventually reached his maiden Test half-century in just his second match and seemed set to ride his luck alongside Watling all the way to the lunch interval when his three hours of resistance ended with one more false shot that was finally held by the West Indies captain.
Rain then drove the players of the field and held up play for 20 minutes as West Indian impatience grew in the quest for a win to level the three-match series ahead of the final Test beginning in Barbados next Thursday.
Last man Trent Boult hung around for more than half-an-hour with Watling as another 20 runs were eked out before touching a delivery from fast bowler Shannon Gabriel for Ramdin to take his fifth catch of the innings.
Watling was left unbeaten on 66, his 387 minutes of unyielding defiance occupying 216 deliveries and including four boundaries.– Sapa-AFP