Cricket 22.8.2016 03:14 pm

SA v NZ 1st Test: Fourth day of the Durban test called off

Umpire, Ian Gould, Umpire, Reserve umpire, Shaun George and Richard Illingworth check the outfield during day 4 of the 1st Sunfoil International Test match between South Africa and New Zealand at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead on August 22, 2016 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)

Umpire, Ian Gould, Umpire, Reserve umpire, Shaun George and Richard Illingworth check the outfield during day 4 of the 1st Sunfoil International Test match between South Africa and New Zealand at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead on August 22, 2016 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)

The fourth day of the first Test between South Africa and New Zealand at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead in Durban has been abandoned without a ball being bowled.

The state of the outfield was the stumbling block for the second day in succession, with wet patches being deemed too dangerous for play by the umpires, despite the drying effects of a stiff breeze blowing all day in Durban.

There is obviously not much will to get play under way because the umpires have banned any ground staff from working on the field, preferring the natural methods of sun (of which there has not been much) and wind.

There had been considerable drying of the outfield, thanks to a stiff southwesterly wind, but it had also brought heavy cloud cover, denying the saturated ground the sunshine it so desperately needed as well.

The umpires looked at conditions at 12pm and then made another inspection at 2pm, at which point they decided to call off play for the day.

New Zealand were meant to resume their first innings struggling on 15 for two, in reply to South Africa’s first innings of 263 all out.

today in print