22 Jan 2017

Day three abandoned at Hagley Oval

4:40 pm on 22 January 2017

Play on day three of the second cricket Test between New Zealand and Bangladesh in Christchurch has been abandoned due to rain.

3rd Umpire Marais Erasmus checks out the wicket block with the groundsman.

3rd Umpire Marais Erasmus checks out the wicket block with the groundsman. Photo: Photosport

Not a ball was bowled on Hagley Oval today where heavy overnight rain soaked the outfield before persistent showers stopped the players from taking the field.

A southerly change at about midday brought stronger winds and heavier rain that intensified throughout the afternoon prompting the umpires to call the abandonment at about four o'clock.

Play has been scheduled to begin on Monday morning at ten thirty and dry conditions are forecast for days four and five.

The Black Caps will resume their first innings on 260 for seven, trailing by 29 runs.

The number five batsman Henry Nicholls is unbeaten on 56 and Tim Southee is four not out.

The pressure will be on the Black Caps' tail order batsmen tomorrow to help Nicholls guide their side to parity.

Ideally, Southee, Neil Wagner and Trent Boult will keep their wickets intact long enough for Nicholls to build a small first innings lead.

With the first innings totals from both sides likely to be small, enough time remains in the match to produce a result, provided the rain clears.

Henry Nicholls celebrates 50.

Henry Nicholls celebrates 50. Photo: Photosport

Bangladesh spinner Shakib Al Hassan claimed a cluster of three middle-order wickets late on day two to stymie New Zealand's run chase, before rain curtailed play with 12 overs left to be bowled in the evening session.

Ross Taylor has posted the top score for the Black Caps so far with 77, followed by Tom Latham's 68.

Latham said New Zealand needed to start positively on Sunday to swing momentum back in their favour.

"We've got Henry Nicholls in there who's on 50 odd and batting really nice. If he can build some partnerships with the tail order and we can get as many (runs) as we can then hopefully we can put the momentum back in our favour," Latham said.

Latham said it was nice to build a solid partnership with Ross Taylor, the pair put on 106 runs together after the Black Caps had lost two quick wickets with Jeet Raval going for 16 and captain Kane Williamson just two.

"They (Bangladesh) bowled really well, they didn't give us anything to hit and we struggled to rotate the strike.

"For us to get through that tough time and then put the pressure back on them after lunch was good for us."

Officials were hoping play would get under way at 10.30am, although rain was expected throughout the afternoon in Christchurch.