New Zealand in England 2004 May 5, 2004

Astle shines amid the showers

Wisden Cricinfo staff

New Zealanders 128 for 3 (Astle 64*) drew with British Universities at Fenner's

New Zealand were frustrated by the weather for the third day running, as the opening fixture of their tour of England - against a British Universities XI - was abandoned as a draw.

Nevertheless, at least they made it onto the pitch today, and in the 35.1 overs available to them, Nathan Astle scored an unbeaten 64 to confirm that he is well on the way to full match fitness after his lengthy injury lay-off.

Scott Styris thumped three fours and a six in a brief cameo before the rains arrived, after Mark Richardson had located the middle of his bat in compiling a solid 39. But for Michael Papps the day was less of a success. He was trapped lbw by David Wigley for a first-ball duck.

Assuming the weather clears, New Zealand will have another chance to get their tour off the ground when they take on Worcestershire in a four-day match at New Road on Friday. The first Test begins at Lord's in little more than a fortnight - on May 20.