Cricket: Black Caps idle for another day

The first test between South Africa and New Zealand saw a second successive day pass without any play on Monday - despite an absence of rain. Photo / Getty Images.
The first test between South Africa and New Zealand saw a second successive day pass without any play on Monday - despite an absence of rain. Photo / Getty Images.

The first test between South Africa and New Zealand saw a second successive day pass without any play on Monday - despite an absence of rain.

Although Durban enjoyed a sunny day on Sunday and a strong wind on Monday, wet patches on the Kingsmead outfield failed to dry sufficiently following a heavy thunderstorm on Saturday night and so no play was possible on the fourth day.

The sight of another rain-free day without cricket brought into question the scheduling and planning on behalf of Cricket South Africa and local organizers.

Just 99.4 overs were possible on the first two days as dew, bad light and rain intervened.

South Africa was bowled out for 263 in its first innings, before reducing New Zealand to 15-2 in reply.

This is the first time that Durban has hosted a test match in August - South Africa has previously scheduled all of its five-day cricket in summer - although it successfully held a one-day international against New Zealand in August last year.

While Durban generally receives the majority of its rain in summer, an unusually large amount has fallen in the city over the past month.

The effects of Saturday's downpour were compounded by the fact that the Kingsmead outfield was re-laid in June, and the unexpectedly large amount of rain did not allow it enough time to settle.

As a result, the soggy outfield has been too soft for artificial drying instruments such as a Super Sopper to be used without causing further damage.

"Following our first experience during August last year and the feedback received from both teams, we have re-laid the outfield to make it more suitable for test match cricket," CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat said in a statement.

"However, the unseasonal rain at this time of year had impacted our preparations of the newly laid outfield. The flood conditions more than a month ago had affected the de-compacting process at Kingsmead."

Centurion has also re-laid its outfield ahead of Saturday's second and final test, but the process was more successful and the match is not expected to be affected by the new surface or inclement weather.

Barring an unusual turn of events on the final day at Kingsmead on Tuesday, that match will now become a decider in the short series.

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 26 Sep 2016 11:42:50 Processing Time: 617ms