x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

New Zealand and England left feeling under the weather as second Test ends in washed-out draw

Heavy rain in Wellington brought the second Test between New Zealand and England to a premature halt without a ball being bowled on the final day.

Groundsmen clear water off the covers during the rain-delayed final day of the second Test between New Zealand and England.
Groundsmen clear water off the covers during the rain-delayed final day of the second Test between New Zealand and England.

England had to settle for a draw in the second Test as forecast heavy rain washed out the final day at the Basin Reserve.

The tourists were 49 runs ahead, with New Zealand 162 for two following on, after rain also restricted play to just 35 overs yesterday.

But there was an air of resignation by last night that this match, like the first in Dunedin last week, would end in a rain-affected stalemate.

James Anderson took the only wicket to fall on day four, Kane Williamson (55no) and Ross Taylor sharing an unbroken stand of 81, and England therefore knew then they had only a slim chance of victory today - even if the rain stayed away.

Instead, the remnants of Cyclone Sandra did their worst - and although the officials took no chances, play was finally abandoned at 2pm local time.

Alastair Cook, the England captain, admitted the result was frustrating after his team dominated but ran out of time pressing for victory.

With the series still evenly poised, Cook said there were some positives to take into the third and final Test in Auckland beginning on Friday, pointing to a much-improved display after the first Test in Dunedin.

"We got ourselves in a really good position to win the game, so we can take a lot from that (after) our first performance," he said.

Brendon McCullum admitted his side were outplayed but said the result evened out the ledger after the drawn Dunedin Test, where New Zealand were on top but rain delays let England off the hook.

"It was a draw at the end of the day and if it's viewed as a points decision I guess England will take this one," he said.

"Both teams go to Auckland and we'll just try to make a result in the last game.

"The weather is forecast to clear for the Auckland Test and the wicket is expected to provide more bounce than the docile pitches in Wellington and Dunedin, boosting the chances of a series-deciding result."

The series score remains 0-0, and the final Test in Auckland - starting on Friday - is therefore a potential decider.

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