Rain washes out opening day of New Zealand's cricket of summer

By David Leggat

Ground staff clear water from Hagley Oval in Christchurch. Photo / Photosport
Ground staff clear water from Hagley Oval in Christchurch. Photo / Photosport

The first day of New Zealand's summer of cricket proved a washout.

Rain enveloped Christchurch early this morning and wiped out the opening day of the first test against Pakistan at Hagley Oval.

The call off came at 4pm after a day of sweeping rain interspersed with sunny periods. The umpires gave every chance for play, leaving a final check as late as possible, but to no avail.

The test is now down to a four-day contest at best, with the weather forecast for Christchurch tomorrow expected to get better through the day, and days three, four and five tipped to be sunny.

New Zealand are coming off four successive test losses, one against South Africa at Centurion and three in India while Pakistan are bidding to regain their No 1 test ranking, which they surrendered to India last month.

The last time the teams met in a test was late in 2014 in the United Arab Emirates in a series which was drawn 1-1.

The match is the first home test in charge for New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson who is hoping to lead his team to what would be only their sixth win over Pakistan in 30 tests, against 10 losses.

Overall, New Zealand have won eight tests, lost 24 and drawn 21 against Pakistan dating back to 1955.

The test is the start of a seven-match home programme for New Zealand with two tests against Bangladesh in January and three more in March against in-form South Africa.

Play is now expected to begin at 10:30am tomorrow.

- NZ Herald

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