Debutant Craig stars in NZ victory

Blackpool Citizen: Tim Southee, right, celebrates the wicket of Kieran Powell (AP) Tim Southee, right, celebrates the wicket of Kieran Powell (AP)

New Zealand won the first Test against the West Indies by 186 runs after a hectic fourth day at Sabina Park.

Opener Tom Latham made 73 of the Black Caps' 156 for eight declared before their bowlers ripped into the home line-up.

The Windies fell to 11 for two, and then 54 for five as Mark Craig's dream debut continued with four for 97, and they were bowled out in the last over of the extra half-hour after a hugely entertaining last-wicket stand between Shane Shillingford, who hit a 25-ball half-century, and Sulieman Benn.

The win gave the tourists a 1-0 lead with two Tests to go, in Trinidad and Barbados.

Having lost two wickets in the 13 overs bowled on Tuesday evening, New Zealand's struggles continued in the early stages of the morning session.

N ightwatchman Ish Sodhi lasted just three balls before being trapped lbw by a superb outswinger from Jerome Taylor (three for 28).

And worse was to follow next ball as the paceman moved one back the other way, beating namesake Ross Taylor through a wide gate to earn a second successive leg-before verdict.

Brendon McCullum edged Kemar Roach inches short of Chris Gayle at slip and then almost popped Benn's first ball straight back to the bowler.

He was unable to make the most of those reprieves, though, bowled through the gate by an excellent delivery from Benn's fellow spinner Shillingford.

That made it 55 for five and there was almost a sixth wicket as Latham was hit in the groin after missing a sweep at Benn, but was given not out despite Hawkeye indicating the ball would have hit leg stump.

Latham celebrated with a boundary in Benn's next over and Jimmy Neesham lofted Shillingford over long-on for six - though the same shot would later come back to haunt him.

Latham completed his half-century in the last of 32 overs before lunch as New Zealand reached 93 for five.

The hundred came up, soon followed by the 50 partnership, but Neesham was dismissed for 20 when he tried to repeat his earlier maximum off Shillingford but picked out substitute fielder Kraigg Brathwaite.

Latham's fine innings was ended when he reached for a wide delivery from Roach (two for 12) and toe-ended wide of the diving Denesh Ramdin but straight to Gayle at slip.

Another good catch accounted for Tim Southee, Darren Bravo racing in from long-on, but n umber 10 Craig lifted the first ball he faced in Test cricket back over Benn's head for six and McCullum declared for the second time in the match with the lead at 402.

Southee made early inroads in the hosts' reply, Kieran Powell drilling a catch to Latham at short mid-wicket before Gayle was squared up and caught behind for 10.

That was 15 for two at lunch and, in the afternoon, Craig again wasted little time getting himself noticed.

Having taken four wickets in the first innings before that cameo with bat in hand, the spinner had Kirk Edwards caught by leg slip Neesham with his second ball.

Bravo's thin edge off Craig was well taken by wicketkeeper BJ Watling, a nd two balls later the debutant induced an inside edge from new man Marlon Samuels, Latham taking another good diving catch to leave the hosts 54 for five.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul fell to a marginal lbw decision padding up to a huge turner from Sodhi and, though Ramdin and Roach put on 39, Craig returned and had Roach caught down the leg side by Watling for 19.

A full ball from Sodhi turned and leapt enough to hit Watling in the grille and the leg-spinner bowled Ramdin later in the over for 34 to leave the Windies 121 for eight.

Jerome Taylor (18) hit Craig for two sixes before becoming his eighth victim of the match, Watling with yet another sharp catch.

The extra half-hour was taken for New Zealand to finish the job - but l ast pair Benn and Shillingford used it for a riotous cameo, racing to a 34-ball 50 partnership featuring four sixes as Shillingford went on to a Test-best 53 not out.

He missed out on equalling Jacques Kallis' record for the fastest Test fifty by just one ball, reaching the mark in 25 deliveries with his fifth six.

But a stand of 82 was ended by part-time spinner Kane Williamson with only two balls to spare, Benn (25) edging to Watling.

Craig's match figures of eight for 188 were the best by a New Zealand debutant, beating Paul Wiseman's seven for 143 against Sri Lanka in 1998.

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