12 Mar 2017

First Test drawn, Taylor ruled out of second

3:23 pm on 12 March 2017

The first cricket Test between New Zealand and South Africa in Dunedin has ended in a draw.

Rain at University Oval in Dunedin.

Rain at University Oval in Dunedin. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Play was abandoned at University Oval without a ball being bowled on the fifth and final day due to rain.

South Africa were 224 for six in their second innings, leading by 191 runs when the match was called off.

See the scorecard here.

Heavy rain began early on Sunday and after the scheduled lunch break was taken at 1pm umpires Kumar Dharmasena and Bruce Oxenford decided there was no chance of any play.

"I think the game was shaping up quite nicely for all three results," New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said.

"The game was certainly in the balance and it's just a shame not to get any play today.

"But it's nice going into the second match with both teams having played some good cricket."

South Africa captain Faf Du Plessis felt his side could also have won the game had they set New Zealand a target of about 250 runs in 60 overs.

"It was set up to be a great finish," du Plessis said.

"We were looking to get about another 50 or 60 runs and on this wicket the ball is turning nicely and (left-arm spinner) Keshav (Maharaj) got five in the first innings.

"The nature of the wicket was you could either get wickets quickly or it's slow scoring and we were favouring our chances because Ross was not going to bat and Trent was injured."

South Africa's opening batsman Dean Elgar, who scored 140 in the first innings and 89 in the second, was named man of the match.

The second game in Wellington starts on March 16, before the third match at Seddon Park in Hamilton begins on March 25.

Earlier on Sunday, New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor was ruled out of the second Test due to a calf injury.

Ross Taylor during the 2nd day.

Ross Taylor during the 2nd day. Photo: Photosport

Taylor suffered a low grade tear to his right calf while batting in Dunedin on Thursday.

After being helped from the field on day two, Taylor valiantly resumed his innings on day three as the Black Caps tried to build a first innings lead.

The 33-year-old could only hobble between the stumps but finished the innings 15 not out as New Zealand established a 33 run advantage.

The Black Caps have yet to name a replacement but RNZ columnist Matt Richens has a few suggestions.

A replacement for Taylor will be selected later on Sunday.

Wireless journalist Max Towle reminds us a batsman of Taylor's calibre cannot be easily replaced.

Ross Taylor is helped from the field after suffering a calf injury.

Ross Taylor is helped from the field after suffering a calf injury. Photo: Photosport

New Zealand pacebowler Trent Boult is also under an injury cloud and didn't bowl after lunch on day four due to what has been reported as a hip or groin complaint.

Boult continues to be monitored and will travel with the team to Wellington with hopes he will recover in time for the second Test at the Basin Reserve which starts on Thursday.

- Reuters, RNZ