Rain plays spoilsport at the Gabba
Australia v New Zealand - match abandoned due to rain
Stephen Fleming's disappointment that the "guns were still in their holsters" was shared after the rain-induced anticlimax to the Chappell-Hadlee Series at the Gabba. The match was finally abandoned without a ball being bowled at 5.15pm due to persistent rain, and the gripping contest was drawn at 1-1.
"It's frustrating and disappointing," said Ricky Ponting. "It was shaping up to be a great game today." Both sides had claims to the upper hand after Australia won by 17 runs at Sydney, and New Zealand stole the first game by four wickets at the Telstra Dome.
But the sparkling new trophy was shared, and nobody knew where to put it following the presentation by Sir Richard Hadlee and Ian Chappell to the joint-winners. The neutral Trans-Tasman territory of Norfolk Island seemed like a good place, so the Australians could pick it up on the way to the three-match series in New Zealand in 2005-06. Australia are due to play five one-day internationals on their tour in February and March, but the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy will not be the prize then.
Fleming was already looking forward to resuming the disrupted battle, and was particularly pleased with his side's fightback after the "hiding" in the Test series. "We have a lot more confidence in our one-day side," he said. "We feel pretty close to Australia. In some areas we may be ahead."
Ponting said Australia had "scraped through" the series and rated the performance as "OK". "We didn't play anywhere near our best cricket, particularly with the bat," he said. "But even though we lost 4 for 8 and 4 for 10 we still got reasonable totals."
Daniel Vettori, who took four wickets and was responsible for Australia's two collapses, was the only player to leave the Gabba with something after winning a 42-inch plasma television as the Man of the Series.