12:00 AM, December 16, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 16, 2008

Draw at Dunedin

Wash-outs raise questions

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Agencies, Dunedin

The first Test between New Zealand and the West Indies ended in a draw after rain washed out the fifth and final day here Monday.
With New Zealand on 44 for two in their second innings at close of play on Sunday, the match had already appeared destined to end all-square after many hours were lost to rain earlier in the match.
Earlier, the West Indies scored 340 in their first innings, including a quickfire 106 from number eight Jerome Taylor, in reply to New Zealand's 365.
All of Friday was washed out and part of Saturday was lost to the wet weather.
The second Test will be played in Napier from Friday, with top all-rounder Jacob Oram a doubt for the home side.
The injury-prone Oram was a last-minute withdrawal from the first Test team after straining a calf muscle and New Zealand said he would play as a batsman only if selected for the second Test.
The 30-year-old -- who has missed 16 out of 48 Tests through injury since his debut in 2002 -- needs to prove he is capable of running between the wickets, team manager Lindsay Crocker said.
Batsman Ross Taylor dislocated and chipped a bone on his right ring finger on Sunday, when he dropped West Indies debutant Brendan Nash in the slips. He left the field and took no further part in the West Indies innings.
But he had been expected to bat in the second New Zealand innings if needed and Crocker said Sunday he was likely to feature in the second Test.
However, what could have been an interesting final day at the University Oval turned out to be a damp squib. Heavy overnight rain and then persistent drizzle through the morning led to the match being abandoned at lunch, although such was the state of the outfield that decision had long been little more than a formality.
This ground's second Test has been blighted by poor weather, with two days completely washed out, and only one full day -- the fourth -- possible. Questions have been asked about the drainage and the ability of the staff to cope with the elements. Although the rain had stopped by lunch and the covers removed, it was the state of the outfield which led to the abandonment.
Ross Dykes, the Otago Cricket Association chief executive, defended the set-up at the ground. "We had a huge amount of rainfall and I think we probably did everything we could," he said. A report in the Herald on Sunday had slammed the venue and called it a "club ground". Dykes said the story was insulting to Dunedin, the University Oval and the groundstaff.
First innings 365 (Flynn 95, Ryder 89; Powell 3-63, Edwards 3-91, Gayle 3-42) and second innings 44 for 2
WEST INDIES: First innings 340 (Taylor 106, Chanderpaul 76, Gayle 74; Vettori 6-56, Mills 3-34)
Result: Match drawn.

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