Cricket: No balls bowled

By Andrew Alderson, at Headingley

The pitch covers remained fastened. Photo / Andrew Alderson
The pitch covers remained fastened. Photo / Andrew Alderson

Constant rain has seen the opening day of the second test between New Zealand and England abandoned without a ball bowled.

Squally rain fell throughout and the pitch covers remained fastened.

A smattering of brave souls armed with coats and umbrellas wandered into the ground, but their efforts were thwarted. Northerly winds added an extra chill factor. British weather websites estimated the temperature at eight degrees to start and 10 degrees by mid-afternoon.

Both teams practised indoors in the meantime.

Fine weather and temperatures upwards of 16 degrees are forecast for the weekend with cloud cover scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.

The teams can play up to 98 overs a day (an extra eight to normal) and they can go as late as 7.30pm, depending on whether the overs are completed first. That means 32 overs could be regained if the weather holds.

When play starts tomorrow Martin Guptill and Doug Bracewell are set to come into the New Zealand side after the opening loss at Lord's. Captain Brendon McCullum is expected to keep wickets for the first time in a test since March 2010. It is uncertain whether an extra day might give B-J Watling long enough to return to fitness.

England's XI is expected to be unchanged.

- NZ Herald

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