At Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, June 16-20, 2014. West Indies won by ten wickets. Toss: New Zealand. Test debut: J. Blackwood.
This was an extraordinary transformation from West Indies - to rank with 1999, when they rallied from a 5-0 whitewash in South Africa, and a crushing defeat in the First Test at home against Australia, to prevail in the Second by ten wickets.

Now they lifted themselves from five drubbings in their previous six Tests, three of them against New Zealand, to level the series. The margin was unequivocal. It should have been even more emphatic: an innings victory looked certain until Watling and Craig used up 43 overs in adding 99, after coming together with their side still behind and only two wickets left. Instead West Indies, eventually set 93, had to wait until after lunch on the final day to settle the issue, with Gayle - in Twenty20 mode - blasting six sixes and seven fours in a 46-ball unbeaten 80.

West Indies had reacted to their Kingston defeat by recalling Brathwaite and Gabriel, and introducing Jermaine Blackwood, their first middle-order debutant for four years - though he ended up at No. 8 because of two nightwatchmen. Kieran Powell and Marlon Samuels were dropped, while Shane Shillingford had a leg strain. All three newcomers did well: the phlegmatic Brathwaite responded with his maiden hundred in his 11th Test, earning him the match award; Gabriel's pace brought him four wickets; and Blackwood's fine 63 showcased the strokeplay that had helped him become the leading run-scorer in the regional four-day tournament with Jamaica.

New Zealand's only change was Rutherford for Peter Fulton, as they continued to shuffle their openers. It made no difference: the early wicket this time was Rutherford, but Latham and Williamson became so entrenched in a partnership of 104 on a true, if slow, pitch that there was no hint of the collapse to follow. Despite several missed chances - including two from Ross Taylor off successive balls from Roach - the last nine wickets tumbled for 101, starting with Williamson's hook to fine leg off Gabriel. Latham was steadfast again for his third successive score over 70 before he was caught in the gully.

His departure was the turning point, and the reprieved Taylor was left stranded, unable to find anyone to stay with him longer than Neesham's 34 minutes. Boult struck back with late swing that took Gayle's off stump, and Southee quickly removed nightwatchman Benn next morning. But a change in West Indies' strategy against Craig's off-spin was soon evident. Edwards hoisted his third delivery for six, then added two more. And, after he edged Sodhi's third ball to Watling, Bravo maintained the tempo. While Brathwaite moved along quietly, Bravo took the lead in a partnership of 182 from 49 overs. Brathwaite was first to three figures; Bravo soon followed to his sixth Test hundred, but his first in the Caribbean. He celebrated without inhibition:

Queen's Park had been his cricket home since he followed his brother Dwayne there as a teenager. Their dismissals towards the end of the second day were unexpected. Bravo lifted Williamson to long-off in search of a fifth six, while Brathwaite's mistimed drive against the new ball provided Boult with a return catch to end 378 minutes of application. West Indies took their lead to 239 midway through the third day. Blackwood, bristling with aggression, shared partnerships of 47 with Chanderpaul and 76 with Ramdin. He stroked his ninth ball, from Boult, straight into the pavilion, and added another six off Sodhi, who eventually found the edge. Sodhi rounded off the innings with his fourth wicket, while Craig had none from 29 overs, an early lesson in the vagaries of Test cricket for the hero of Kingston.

Rutherford was down with the flu, so McCullum opened instead, but he didn't even last as long as Rutherford had in the first innings. The second-wicket pair again held firm, in a partnership of 75. Latham took his crease-occupation in the first two Tests past 15 hours, before gloving one from Benn that leapt at his chest to silly point, then Williamson fell to Roach to start a collapse to 212 for eight, still 27 behind.

But Watling and Craig dug in, and West Indies ran out of ideas. Ramdin spread the field, and the effort wilted, allowing the ninth-wicket pair to carry New Zealand's hopes into the final day. Craig survived early chances off successive balls from Taylor, Gayle's speculative off-spin had its longest spell in five years, and the threat of rain that had halted play on earlier days added to the tension. But, just before a brief break for the weather, Roach finally got rid of Craig, after 167 balls of frustration in just over three hours, one of the longest innings by a Test No. 10. Even then, West Indies had to wait more than an hour and a half before they could polish off the innings. Watling remained unbeaten after 387 minutes of chanceless toil.

Gayle's explosive hitting immediately dispelled any concern about West Indies' penchant for second-innings surrenders, and the series was soon level, with a session remaining. New Zealand's woes were completed when Williamson was reported for a suspect action, something coach Mike Hesson admitted was "not entirely unexpected". He was later banned from bowling in international cricket.
Man of the Match: K. C. Brathwaite.