sport

Blackwood boosts Windies

Jermaine Blackwood's maiden half century helped the West Indies to take a 166-run lead in the second Test against New Zealand as they look to level the series.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Denesh Ramdin provided strong support for the youngster as the Windies' middle order proved stubborn in the face of slack bowling from the Black Caps.

Leg spinner Ish Sodhi was the only real threat and he moved on to four wickets in the match at a cost of 96 runs from 19 overs.

With the West Indies all out for 460, New Zealand finished the day on 73-1 in their second innings but facing a massive deficit.

Chanderpaul and Kemar Roach returned to the crease in glorious sunshine to start the day with the West Indies' lead just short of 100 runs.

Apart from a few Chanderpaul boundaries their partnership was largely forgettable, with the Windies left on 333-6 when Roach (six) directed Trent Boult's inswinger straight to Jimmy Neesham at mid-wicket in the 101st over.

He was replaced by Test debutant Blackwood and the 22-year-old wasted little time to announce his arrival on the big stage.

He hit a four with a thick outside edge in the 102nd over to claim his first runs in Test cricket, before smashing a superbly timed lofted drive over the long-on boundary two balls later.

Spurred on by Blackwood's exuberance, Chanderpaul got in on the act as the pair made a seventh wicket stand of 47 off 14 overs.

Sodhi stopped Chanderpaul (47) lbw just short of his half century after a review showed the delivery would have hit leg stump.

Windies captain Ramdin looked to dispel any thoughts of a collapse from the hosts, finding three successive boundaries off Boult shortly after entering the fray.

Blackwood succeeded where Chanderpaul failed, bringing up his 50 off 93 balls in the 130th over, but he became Sodhi's second victim of the day, and third of the innings, shortly after.

The youngster had taken advantage of poor bowling from the New Zealanders to reach 63, but his number was finally up when he edged a sharp leg break delivery to slip to put the hosts on 456 for eight.

The Windies might have avoided a collapse when Chanderpaul departed but Blackwood's wicket proved decisive as Neesham and Sodhi took a wicket apiece in two overs after that, losing only four runs, to leave New Zealand 239 runs behind.

Black Caps openers Brendon McCullum and Tom Latham came out with a mountain to climb, but they could only add nine runs between them before Jerome Taylor's pacey delivery surprised McCullum (three) and trapped him in front.

Latham (30 not out) and Kane Williamson (38 not out) managed to steady the ship for the tourists, taking them to 166 runs behind with nine wickets remaining at the close of play, but it will take something special to stop the West Indies from here.