Wellington: New Zealand was 162-2 in its second innings, trailing England by 49 runs after following on, when heavy rain curtailed the fourth day of the second cricket Test.
Only 22 minutes of play were possible between lunch and stumps as long-delayed showers, breaking one of the worst droughts in New Zealand's recent history, washed over the Basin Reserve and severely disrupted the last two sessions.
Kane Williamson reached a stubborn half century during the first session on Sudnay and formed partnerships of 56 for the second wicket with Peter Fulton and 81, unbroken, for the third wicket with Ross Taylor. Williamson was 55 not out and Taylor unbeaten on 41 at stumps.
The fourth day, full of promise at its outset, became a long and frustrating battle against rain, which first began to fall during the lunch interval when New Zealand was 153-2 and still 58 runs from making England bat again.
No play was possible in the second session because of showers which severely dampened the outfield at the Basin Reserve. Those showers periodically would abate, raising hopes of a resumption in play, then return just as the ground was in its last stages of being prepared.
Play finally began again at 5.10pm but only 22 minutes were possible, six overs were bowled and New Zealand added nine runs to its total before light rain again chased players from the field.
An effort was made to restart play 40 minutes later, players were grouped on the boundary ready to return but rain intervened and umpires Rod Tucker of Australia and Asad Rauf of Pakistan finally called stumps at 5:55.
New Zealand had resumed its second innings today at 77-1, still trailing England by 134 runs. Opener Hamish Rutherford was out for 15 before stumps yesterday but Williamson and Fulton carried New Zealand to the close of play in relative comfort.