The first Test between the Proteas and New Zealand at Kingsmead has been called off after the outfield failed to improve on day five.
It brings a sorry end to proceedings in Durban, as a heavy thunderstorm overnight after day two had lasting consequences. The outfield failed to recover, and due to little improvement going into day five, the match was called off altogether.
The signs were already worrying going into the match, as there was a delay on the morning of day one due to a wet outfield. Then only 22 overs were played on day two before the rain came. That was the last of it, confirming the poor decision to hand Kingsmead its first ever Test in August.
The match had all the makings of an excellent contest, as the unpredictable conditions offered plenty of swing and movement to the bowlers.
The Proteas were bowled out for 263, with Hashim Amla producing a fluent 53 and Temba Bavuma looking good for his 46. The hosts gave away most of their wickets, however, so it was difficult to know if that was a competitive total or not.
Sure enough, Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander, playing their first Tests of the year, were excellent with the new ball, as Steyn removed both openers cheaply to leave the Kiwis on 15-2, before the players were forced off the field for good.
A straight shootout awaits at Centurion in the second and final Test starting on Saturday. Here’s to hoping the weather doesn’t have the final say.
Photo: Muzi Ntombela/Backpage Pix