West Indies fast bowler Shannon Gabriel bowls during the second innings on the fourth day of the second Test. (AP Photo)
Port-of-Spain: The West Indies bowlers produced a spirited performance to put a series-levelling victory in sight against New Zealand after four days of the second Test on Thursday.
New Zealand, facing a first-innings deficit of 239, reached 257 for 8 in their second innings, leading by 18 with two wickets in hand.
Kemar Roach toiled manfully on a placid Queen's Park Oval pitch to claim 3 for 53 while fellow pacer Jerome Taylor took 2 for 46. Left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn grabbed 2 for 62 from a marathon 49 overs, and claimed a sensational return catch.
Kane Williamson top-scored with 52 while BJ Watling provided a defiant, unbeaten 36 in four-and-half hours at the crease.
Wicketkeeper Watling shared a resolute, undefeated ninth-wicket stand of 43 with Mark Craig, 29 not out. The pair helped New Zealand stretch the match into the fifth day and lifted slim hopes of the tourists' preserving their 1-0 lead in the series.
The West Indies grabbed wickets at regular intervals during an attritional day after New Zealand resumed on 73 for 1.
The determined overnight partnership between Williamson and opener Tom Latham carried on for the first 45 minutes, taking New Zealand to 84 before the lanky Benn struck.
Latham gloved to silly point after a delivery from the left-armer reared off a good length. The left-hander scored 36 off 138 balls and his stand with Williamson was worth 75.
The West Indies had to wait another hour before they broke New Zealand's resistance again as pacer Roach finally prised out Williamson, who spent 214 minutes at the crease. The right-hander hit five fours off 178 balls before nibbling outside the off stump and edging to wicketkeeper and skipper Denesh Ramdin.
Benn provided the highlight of the morning session just before the break, diving full length to his right to haul in a one-handed catch from Jimmy Neesham's crunching drive. Neesham departed for 7 at 121 for 4.
Ross Taylor and Watling added 32 in an hour either side of lunch before Gabriel made a crucial breakthrough. Taylor, who had defied for just over two hours in scoring 36 off 88 deliveries, edged a drive behind.
Jerome Taylor gained reward for his accurate swing bowling with the scalp of Hamish Rutherford on 13, lbw playing no stroke to an in-dipper.
New Zealand took tea at 181 for 6 and quickly slumped to 212 for 8 as Roach struck twice with the second new ball against aggressive tailenders.
Ish Sodhi, on 14, edged a cut to Ramdin, while Tim Southee, 15, spooned a leading edge to extra cover where Kirk Edwards flung himself to his left to haul in a fine, two-handed catch.
But the hosts could not quite complete the job as Watling and Craig held out for almost two hours to the close.
Craig survived one chance off Benn on 5, short leg Jermaine Blackwood putting down a chance to his right.