Heavy overnight rain soaked the Kingsmead field so much that no play was possible on day three of the first Test against New Zealand.
All but 22 overs were lost on day two to rain and bad light, with South Africa in confident mood, having taken two Kiwi wickets for 15 runs as they replied to the Proteas’ 263.
But it rained all night and on inspection, the umpires decided no play was possible. They looked at the field twice under a bright sun, but it could not dry fast enough.
Officials announced that ‘underfoot conditions remain treacherous. Water comes up to the surface on footfall.’ The fine leg boundary from the Umgeni End seems to be the most problematic.
It now makes the chances of a result extremely slim.
The 12 overs of action in the New Zealand innings on Saturday at least confirmed the return of Dale Steyn, who has been short of cricket over the past eight months, when the Proteas last played a Test. Bar a few appearances in T20 matches, he has been able to recuperate. He took the wickets of Tom Latham (4) and Martin Guptill (7) along with some searching bowling from Vernon Philander.
‘Having the two of them back in international cricket bowling in tandem is pleasing,’ said Proteas bowling coach Charl Langeveldt. ‘It didn’t swing as much for us but it did seam a lot and that was the key for us. WhenNew Zealand bowled in the morning it swung a lot and the guys played and missed by a country mile. It worked in our favour because we got the ball to do enough, on a greenish wicket, that is what you need.’
Still waiting for his chance to have a go at the New Zealand line-up is Kagiso Rabada, which makes for a daunting attack.
‘The key for KG is being able to hit the right areas consistently.’ said Langeveldt. ‘Dale and Vernon will be a big asset because once you have those guys around you it makes it a lot easier. They control the game so he can run in and be aggressive and attacking.’