Samuels puts West Indies on course for victory

London: Marlon Samuels defied a dropped chance and the "distraction" of the Olympics women`s 100 metres final being shown at the ground to score a pivotal 52 that fortified the West Indies` bid for a series-clinching victory over New Zealand in the second Test here.

The hometown hero, a century-maker in the first innings, struck seven fours from 103 balls in 157 minutes, after he was dropped early in his innings, as the Windies reached 135 for four in their second innings - still 71 runs adrift of victory - at the close on the third day - and with an eye on the weather as Tropical Storm Ernesto approaches the island, CMC reports.

Samuels put on 74 for the third wicket with Assad Fudadin to stabilise the innings Saturday, after the Caribbean side made a shaky start to the chase, when left-handed openers Chris Gayle and Kieran Powell were dismissed cheaply.

Both he and Fudadin fell in the final session, after play came to a standstill to allow the viewing of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce`s historic victory in the women`s 100 final in London on the Sabina Park electronic scoreboard in the ground.

It left veteran left-hander Shivnarine Chanderpaul, not out on 20, and night-watchman Kemar Roach, not out on 10, to bat through the final five overs of the day.

This followed disciplined bowling from West Indies - led by Narsingh Deonarine - as the New Zealanders were dismissed for 154 in their second innings about an hour after lunch.

The part-time off-spinner ended with a career-best 4-37 from 22 overs, frontline off-spinner Sunil Narine finished with 3-19 from 12 overs, and Tino Best snared 2-44, as only Dean Brownlie with 35, passed 20 with the bat for the Black Caps on the day.

The West Indies lead the two-Test series 1-0, following a nine-wicket victory in the first Test, which ended last Monday at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.

They are making a bid to complete their first series sweep, since Ridley Jacobs` side beat Bangladesh 2-0 close to a decade ago.


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