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New Zealand stymied by rain in first Test

West Indies escapes with draw after rain stops play with New Zealand 79 for 4, just 33 away from victory

New Zealand stymied by rain in first Test - Cricket News
Rain delays play during day five in Dunedin.
New Zealand was left agonisingly short of a Test win when rain forced a draw on the final day of the first Test against West Indies in Dunedin on Saturday (December 7).
 
Chasing 112 for victory, New Zealand was 79 for 4 when rain forced an early tea. With the weather not improving, no further play was eventually possible, and shortly past 6 pm local time, the match was officially declared over.
 
West Indies, on 443 for 6 overnight, had been bowled out for 507, and though New Zealand faltered at the start of its chase, Ross Taylor and Corey Anderson had mounted a recovery of sorts from 44 for 4, with all four wickets falling to Shane Shillingford, the West Indies offspinner, who eventually finished with 4 for 26 in 15 overs.  
 
Anderson was on 20 with Taylor on 16 when tea was taken five minutes early due to rain, but both of them couldn’t eventually resume their push for victory.
 
"We would have won that, I believe, if it hadn't rained," said Brendon McCullum, the New Zealand captain. "It was disappointing to set ourselves up and be 33 short."
 
Darren Sammy, the West Indies captain, described it as a "moral victory" for his side, after coming off two innings defeats in India. "We're quite happy from the position we were in at the end of our first innings," said Sammy.
 
West Indies had ensured it was in a position to take advantage of the eventually inclement weather after a splendid fightback in the second innings led by Darren Bravo, who hit a career-best 218 while following-on, when West Indies mustered only 213 in reply to New Zealand’s 609 for 9 declared.
 
The West Indians first erased the 396-run deficit, and then gave the bowlers a total to defend. Bravo had arrived at the crease in the last session of the second day, and stayed till the third over of the fifth morning before he was bowled by Trent Boult, with a slower ball keeping low.
 
Sammy too played his part, giving Bravo superb support while compiling a solid 80 before becoming the last West Indian wicket to fall.
 
Neil Wagner returned the best bowling figures for New Zealand with 3 for 112.
 
Shillingford opened the bowling and bowled unchanged till play was called off, with New Zealand’s batsmen finding him difficult to read. Shillingford had Peter Fulton caught down the legside in the last over before lunch, a decision West Indies won on review, and after lunch, he got Aaron Redmond caught close in, while Hamish Rutherford (20) hit the ball straight to Shannon Gabriel at long-on. Brendon McCullum, who hit a century in the first innings, failed this time around, top-edging an intended sweep to Ramdin.
 
However, Taylor and Anderson steadied the innings and though New Zealand had stumbled initially, its chances of going 1-0 up in the three-Test series looked bright, before the skies turned grey.
 
Taylor, who hit an unbeaten 217 in the first innings, was adjudged the Man of the Match. The second Test starts in Wellington on Wednesday.

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