Day 3 Report: New Zealand batsman Henry Nicholls completed his sixth half-century in test matches as only 17 balls were bowled because of rain Saturday on the third day of the first cricket Test against England at Eden Park.
After an eventful first day on which England was bowled out for only 58, the first day-night Test match in New Zealand has effectively come to a soggy halt.
Only 23.1 overs were bowled on the second day and barely 10 minutes of play took place on Saturday before persistent showers set in and drenched Eden Park.
Nicholls resumed at 49 not out and went on to a patient half-century which took three hours, 18 minutes and came from 143 balls with three fours. He was 52 not out when the rain began.
BJ Watling was 18 not out, having added only one to his overnight score, and New Zealand was 233, having added four, when players left the field. Tea was taken at that score.
New Zealand is still in a commanding position in the match, leading England by 175 runs after bowling out the tourists for 58 in 20.4 overs on the first day. But rain is expected to persist on the fourth day Sunday, threatening New Zealand's bid to take a 1-0 lead in the two-Test series.
After England's dismissal for a record low score against New Zealand, the home team took a cautious approach led by captain Kane Williamson who posted his 18th Test century — a New Zealand record — before being out for 102.
Williamson reached that total in five hours, 19 minutes, pacing himself and feeling safe in the knowledge the match was well advanced. But New Zealand has been criticized for not showing more urgency in the face of the threat of rain on the second and third days.
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Denly had scored just 18 and 29 in the opening Test against West Indies and was replaced by skipper Joe Root when he returned in the second Test after attending the birth of his child.
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