Cricket: Otago weather again spoils day for fans

Spectators leave the Queenstown Events Centre after rain forced the abandonment of the first one...
Spectators leave the Queenstown Events Centre after rain forced the abandonment of the first one-day international between New Zealand and the West Indies at the ground on New Year's Eve.
Otago cricket fans were short-changed again when the annual New Year's Eve one-dayer in Queenstown was abandoned just before 3pm.

New Zealand was in a dominant position, having reduced the West Indies to 129 for five.

But rain set in during the 36th over, forcing the players from the field, and with no hope of a restart the game was called off at 5pm.

It was the second international in Otago this summer called off because of poor weather.

The first test against the West Indies in Dunedin ended prematurely on the fifth day after rain ruined any prospects of further play.

While what was a good crowd of about 6000 filed out of the Queenstown Events Centre disappointed, the West Indies headed into the sheds probably feeling as if they had just discovered a hidden door under the bunk in their cell.

The tourists made a reasonable start by reaching 42 without loss before New Zealand seam bowler Mark Gillespie struck, bowling Sewnarine Chattergoon.

Kyle Mills got a lucky break when Chris Gayle was given out caught behind for 25.

"Hot Spot" technology subsequently made a nonsense of the decision but with no referral system in place, Gayle had to lump it all the way back to the changing rooms.

Ramnaresh Sarwan and Xavier Marshall put on 60 for the third wicket but Sarwan went down in a heap after slipping and needed strapping on his left knee.

It seemed to break his concentration and he was dismissed shortly after when Black Caps skipper Daniel Vettori found a faint edge.

With Shivnarine Chanderpaul ruled out before the match with a sore hand, the West Indies tail was looking longer than usual.

Tim Southee bowled a superb second spell, removing Brendon Nash for 12 and Kieron Pollard for three before the weather closed in.

Vettori was disappointed the match was washed out but stopped short of saying it had cost his side a 1-0 lead in the five-game series.

"We had them in a good position but we also knew it was a difficult wicket, so anything around 200 would have been a tough chase.

"Because the teams are so close at the moment we wanted to make sure there was an opportunity for a result.

"I suppose now it is a four-match series and we have to go away and try and win 3-1 now."

Vettori was, by and large, pleased with his bowlers.

Gillespie was erratic early but pulled it back, and Vettori and Jacob Oram bowled well in tandem during the middle overs.

Gayle acknowledged New Zealand had had the better of the game and had bowled "really well".

"It wasn't the easiest pitch to bat on if the fast bowler bowled in the right areas. But I give credit to the way they bowled. It was a good game for them, bowling wise, and the outfielding was brilliant."



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