Centuries from Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor ensured New Zealand drew the rain-hit second Test against England in Hamilton yesterday, sealing a 1-0 series win.
The weather turned sour soon after lunch on the fifth day when New Zealand, having taken advantage of some sloppy fielding, were 241 for two in their second innings, 140 ahead with Taylor on 105 and Williamson on 104.
Williamson brought up his 21st Test century with a four off Joe Root in the third over after lunch, while Taylor reached century number 19 with a flourish in Root’s next over when he smacked a four and two sixes in consecutive balls.
The rain arrived to wash out England’s faint hope of forcing a result.
New Zealand resumed the day at 96 for two with England hunting early wickets but their plans went off track when Ollie Pope and Joe Denly spilled simple chances from Williamson.
The New Zealand skipper was on 39 when wicketkeeper Pope put down a regulation offering off the gloves and on 62 Denly inexplicably dropped an even easier chance.
Williamson gently chipped a slower delivery from Jofra Archer straight to Denly at short midwicket and, as the bowler leapt in celebration and Williamson made an apologetic gesture to Taylor, the ball popped out of Denly’s hands.
Williamson had another life when he should have been run out on 97 but Sam Curran’s shy at the stumps was so far off line that the batsmen picked up an extra run.
The one positive for the England captain was his return to form with a double century and man-of-the-match award after a year of averaging below 30 to give him confidence heading into a four-Test tour of South Africa.
SCORES IN BRIEF
NEW ZEALAND: First innings 375 and second innings 241 for 2 (Williamson 104 not out, Taylor 105 not out; Woakes 1-12)
ENGLAND: First innings 476
Result: Match drawn and New Zealand won two-match series 1-0.
Player-of-the-match: Joe Root
Player-of-the-series: Neil Wagner