KINGSTON - A second workmanlike half-century by Tom Latham held the New Zealand second innings together and took the tourists to 96 for five at lunch on the fourth day of the first Test against the West Indies at Sabina Park in Jamaica on Wednesday.

Building on a first innings advantage of 246 runs, the Black Caps now enjoy an overall lead of 342 with five wickets in hand heading into the afternoon session.

Following his knock of 83 on the opening day, the left-handed opener's unbeaten 51, which has so far occupied three hours, was particularly important after an early double-strike by Jerome Taylor reduced the New Zealanders to 14 for four and raised expectations of the home side getting back into the match by completely demolishing their opponents' second innings.

Taylor, who continues to impress on his return to Test cricket after a four-and-a-half-year absence through a series of injuries, trapped nightwatchman Ish Sodhi and key middle-order batsman Ross leg-before off successive deliveries. Brendon McCullum prevented the hat-trick and contributed 17 in a 41-run fifth-wicket partnership with Latham before he was bowled between bat and pad by Shane Shillingford.

While his teammates in the top order continued to struggle, Latham remained disciplined and defiant throughout his innings, respecting the excellent opening spells of Taylor and Kemar Roach with the relatively new ball. He was more prosperous off the spinners however, especially favouring the pull and cut when Shillingford and Sulieman Benn dropped short.

He did appear to enjoy a bit of luck though when ruled "not out" to an LBW appeal off Benn although television replays suggested the ball would have hit the leg-stump.

Jimmy Neesham (14 not out), who continues to radiate confidence with hundreds in two of his first three Test innings, will resume after the interval with Latham, the pair seeking to put the match completely out of the reach of the West Indies on a surface offering increasing assistance to the slow bowlers.

Earlier, Southee's miserly accuracy (4 for 19 off 16.2 overs) and Craig's persistence (4 for 91 off 24 overs) were the highlights of a determined New Zealand effort in the field with the only substantial resistance coming from the home side's two most experienced players. Not for the first time, ShivnarineChanderpaul was left unbeaten in getting to the topscore of 84, although most of the attention was focused earlier in the day on local hero Chris Gayle who, in his 100th Test, threatened something special before becoming Southee's first wicket for 64 just after lunch.



WEST INDIES 1ST INNINGS: (Overnight 19/0)

C Gayle c wkpr Watling b Southee    64

K Powell lbw Craig    28

K Edwards c Taylor b Craig    0

D Bravo c and b Sodhi    0

S Chanderpaul not out    84

M Samuels lbw Southee    0

D Ramdin c wkpr Watling b Southee    39

K Roach c Fulton b Craig    4

J Taylor c McCullum b Boult    7

S Benn b Craig    17

S Shillingford c Watling b Southee    14

EXTRAS: (lb-2, w-1, nb-2)    5

TOTAL: (81.2 overs, all out)    262

FOW: 1-60, 2-60, 3-61, 4-104, 5-104, 6-176, 7-185, 8-194, 9-223, 10-262

BOWLING: Boult 19-3-67-1, Southee 16.2-2-19-4, Craig 24-3-91-4, Neesham 6-1-14-0, Sodhi 16-1-69-1.


(OVERNIGHT: 14-2):

P Fulton c wkpr Ramdin b Taylor    0

T Latham not out not out    51

K Williamson b Roach    2

I Sodhi lbw Taylor    4

R Taylor lbw Taylor    0

B McCullum b Shillingford    17

J Neesham not out    14

TOTAL: (45 overs, 5 wickets)    96

FOW: 1-0, 2-7, 3-14, 4-14, 5-55

BOWLING: Taylor 8-4-13-3, Roach 11-6-9-1, Benn 15-2-35-0, Shillingford 8-0-28-1, Samuels 3-1-3-0