Watling, Craig stave off fatigued Windies

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Coach Ottis Gibson conceded tiredness played a large part in the West Indies' inability to complete victory on day four of the second Test against New Zealand at Queen's Park Oval in Port of Spain on Thursday.

Coach Ottis Gibson conceded tiredness played a large part in the West Indies' inability to complete victory on day four of the second Test against New Zealand at Queen's Park Oval in Port of Spain on Thursday.

The fixture will see a fifth day, after late-order defiance from wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling and tail-ender Mark Craig pushed the Black Caps to a score of 257 for eight – and a slender 18-run lead.

"Everybody, throughout the day when they were called on, really put it in. It meant that at the back end, a little bit of fatigue started to set in and fatigue sometimes plays with the mind. But overall, the guys stayed strong for most of the day. A really good partnership was formed between Watling and Craig and we just have to ride that out," said Gibson.

"That's what Test cricket is all about. That's what I have been preaching for a long time. That's why it's called Test cricket. It tests your character, your fitness levels, your skills.

"The way Watling and Craig played this evening meant that we needed to be a little more skillful. The guys got a little bit tired, you could see that. But we come back, hopefully the rain stays away and we get the job done."

The Windies, who lost the series opener by 186 runs, have enjoyed a prompt turnaround. Fine centuries from the recalled Kraigg Brathwaite and the left-handed Darren Bravo – and a complementary half-ton from debutant Jermaine Blackwood – contributed to a telling first-innings total of 460 all out.

The selection of all-rounder Sulieman Benn ahead of spinner Shane Shillingford and fast bowler Shannon Gabriel's replacement of batsman Marlon Samuels, too, has contributed positively in Trinidad.

"We are a developing side. You are seeing some new young faces, Kraigg coming in and getting a ton. You saw young Blackwood coming in and looking really exciting. We don't win as often as we'd like to and I guess that's the situation with the team," added Gibson.

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