Elgar, du Plessis drive SA on attritional day
South Africa, who could barely push their scoring rate above two-an-over, closed with a lead of 191 and four wickets in hand
1.40pm The players are out in the ground.... and they are shaking hands. That is that, ladies and gentlemen. The final day has been abandoned without a ball being bowled. What a shame. This Test was fascinatingly poised on Saturday. Sunday has been a damp squib. Rain, you itty-bitty, teeny-tiny, pesky little thing. So, the first Test ends in a draw. Over to Wellington now. Who will replace Ross Taylor? Will Boult recover in time? Thanks for your company. This is Deivarayan Muthu signing off on the behalf of Shashank Kishore and Chandan Duorah, hoping the weather is brighter at your end. Cheers.
Gerd: "Metservice forecast for Wellington next week is mainly fine - no rain over the five days. Still early days but fingers crossed..."
Dean Elgar is the Man of the Match.
Bob: "On the bright side....NZ Open golf final round will be on TV in 20 minutes."
"I feel the most for our bbb commentator Deivarayan. Poor guy wakes up at 2am on a Sunday and sees this match being delayed by rain. Cant even quit the whole thing till the umpires say so ! " --- Thanks Hari, it's over, I can shut shop now
1pm Alright, rain has washed out the morning session. The entire day is likely to be washed out.
rickyg: "Is Justin Green available to bat No 4 for NZ at the Basin? He could also cover Boult if needed. Actually we could just play Kane, Jeets and Justin could cover the other 9 positions....." --- Ha, Justin Green. It has been a while since I heard or saw the great name on Cricinfo ball-by-ball
AndyMac vents out his frustration: "Just. Call. It. Off." --- It has been that kind of a day
Neil: "Look at it this way. At least we got almost 4 days of play. If the test had been almost anywhere else in the country we wouldn't have got anywhere near the amount of play on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday when we had lovely sunny days down here."
Shanthal: "Didn't this happen during South Africa's last tour of NZ? The first Test was intriguingly poised with NZ chasing and it rained all day?" --- Yep, it does ring a bell. Firdose touched upon this in her piece: South Africa's Dunedin time machine
Neil: "Here in Dunedin we usually get 2 types of rain, a heavy fall that clears up quickly, or lighter rain that can hang around for days. Unfortunately this rain looks like the latter."
12.40pm The Blackcaps' most recent tweet sums up the situation: "Rain still falling in Dunedin.Umpires won't inspect pitch until it stops. A lot of water on covers. No good news we are afraid :("
Bob: "Any idea when the umpires are likely to say "that's it"...off to Wellington we go....or maybe to Queenstown to watch the golf." --- Soon after the scheduled lunch interval maybe? Chances of play look very bleak
Ashley McCormac: "@Dera: that would make a 2-day turn over before the next test. That's not enough time for the NZ bowlers to recover, they've done a lot of bowling esp Wagner..."
Hari: "Gnasher, meanwhile, tweets that this will be the first draw since IndvEng at Rajkot !! Thats 21 tests !"
Three years ago, Jeetan Patel didn't expect to lead New Zealand's spin attack. He has done so in this game, and has nabbed de Kock four times out of four in this series. "Maybe I get picked to get Quinton out," Patel joked on Saturday.
12.25pm "There is some movement around the pitch and the covers," says Firdose. "The groundsman is issuing some instructions and there's a bit of mopping up going on."
Go ND: "Is Corey Anderson fit to play as a batsman only?" -- Yeah, he hasn't bowled in the Plunket Shield as well
Jay: "Dera: "@Deivarayan. Sorry friend, but the forecast for tomorrow is even worse. Even if they could do it, it wouldn't help. As a lifelong kiwi, this rain looks like its staying. "
12.05pm "Optimistically, they have a super sopper going here," is the latest update from Firdose. The teams haven't arrived at the ground yet, however.
11.45am It continues to rain in Dunedin. Nothing new to report. This Test was nicely set up on the fourth day. Weather now pushing it to a dull, damp draw
Dera: "@Deivarayan - Ask the two teams to come to a mutual agreement to play the fifth day tomorrow, if it helps?" --- I so wish. I don't have such powers.
Meanwhile, the excellent Vithushan gets Malan and Jordan talking on their hesitant, but unhindered road to the PSL final in Lahore
Mark: "As I feared after the second day, with the match moving along so slowly, any problems with the weather and it was likely to be doomed to be a draw. We could still get a result, but it will need a mighty clatter of wickets to happen."
11.15am Bad news for New Zealand. Ross Taylor has been ruled out of the second Test in Wellington because of a calf injury. Who do you think should replace him? Trent Boult, though, will travel with the squad.
Greg: "James - that list shows Guppy averaging 167.50.......bring back...." --- Guptill has been ruled out for six weeks, and will miss the start of the IPL too. He needs rehabilitation on his hamstrings
Bob: " The trouble with going on about first class averages is that those figures are garnered against domestic teams that do not contain a full complement of international class bowlers."
Daniel: "As one of the few people at Colin Maiden Park for when both Tom Bruce and Colin Munro scored hundreds, my vote is for Brownlie in a heartbeat. Munro was just taking trying to hit every ball for a boundary, and it just happened to come off. He did it again this week at Eden Park and got 18 (6). Has no solid defensive game and any disciplined attack would get the better of him. Bruce was a lot better in terms of control but I don't think he's ready. For the record, that match was heading for a draw after the first day was rained and I don't think either attack were putting in 100%."
Sean webber: "Why is everyone wanting Munro in the test side? He may average 50 in domestic but from what I've seen in his international career that would be a poor move"
James: "If you're going to pick a replacement on statistics, it's better to look at current form rather than overall average. Tom Bruce averages 59.12 for the season, while Munro averages a whopping 95.00. Brownlie offers only 40.12 in comparison. Full list here
Gaza: "Colin Munro should replace Taylor... he averages over 50 in domestic list A."
Bob: "In that case why not drop Nicholls and play both Munro and Brownlie?"
Brad: "Tom Bruce is they man putting his hand up worthy of a try, averaging 48.86 domestically, thats a better than Lathams, Ravals, and Nichols and Neesham's domestic average, why isn't he being given a go more to the point???"
Jez: "Based on stats and form, Munro should play the second test, but you can feel the selectors going back to Brownlie. In all seriousness though, it should be Munro. The problem is NZ don't want Nicholls batting at 4."
11am Meanwhile, the pink-ball trial in the Plunket Shield has returned positive reviews.
More interesting material to keep you entertained. Our correspondent Osman Samiuddin squares up to Saeed Ajmal and almost gets the better of the former No. 1 bowler
Mel Farrell ventures into the heartland of ESPNcricinfo. George Binoy and Venkat Raghav on ball-by-ball commentary and scoring. George offers some tips for feedbackers (are you guys listening?) Aakash Chopra also makes an appearance.
10.40am Play should have started by now but it continues to rain. Firdose says South Africa will be leaving for the ground only by 1.30pm.... that's about three hours from now. It will be a shame if rain has the final say in this fiercely-contested Test
Vishwas : "Its a pity we don't have polite enquiries from NZ " --- Well, George Dobell and Chris Woakes, who has perfect hair and has the ability to walk on water, had a blast in the Caribbean. WI captain Jason Holder is next on ##PoliteEnquiries. Watch out for that
John: "Well that sucks. Absolute drought here in Cape Town... but no international cricket. Have to spend the next few hours making puns with the cricket players names to pass the time."
Manish: "Yesterday we had our club game shortened from usual 40 to 25 overs a side and even that could not finish. We batted first, enjoyed full 25 overs but the rain came pouring down when opposition had played only 8 overs! Draw is the flavour of this weekend in South Island. "
AXH: "I am hunkering down at home here in the US due to very cold weather and with nothing else to do, I was looking forward to this game."
Bowling Greggy: "Early this morning (in Wellington) we had heavy rain and thunder....it was clearing heading south I'm afraid. I hope you have a good book there to read, everyone."
10.30am Argh! It is raining steadily now in Dunedin. Play on the final day is under threat.
Matt Summers: "I'm a student down here at Otago Uni in Dunedin and was looking foward to come down and watch another Black Caps win! But unfortunately nothing other than a draw will be possible with this rain and the forecast"
Manish: "Whole of south island is supposed to observe rainy weather this weekend. Rain falling down heavily here is Christchurch as I type."
10.20am TJP: "When is SA safe? Has the wicket deteriorated enough to bowl NZ out for under 200 or is 300 gettable? Lets assume NZ get 60 overs of batting despite the rain" --- We definitely want another 60 or 70 more runs. It's about dictating terms," Neil McKenzie, South Africa's batting coach, said after bad light ended play on the fourth day
"Hey it's almost 3 A.M. in India. I am awake and having ice cream and hoping for a game. So should I sleep instead?" --- Stick with us Saurabh, let us hope for a miraculous resumption
10am A not-so-warm welcome from Dunedin, everyone. It had rained overnight, it is drizzling now, and the forecast isn't promising for the rest of the day either. "There is no wind to blow the light rain away. Chances of play are slim," says Firdose Moonda from the University Oval.
Tim: "Rain clears. SA declare. Nz chase like a T20 - win by 2pm. Easy. Okay I'm dreaming. "
Mark Townsend: "Will there be play in Dunedin today?(" --- It does not look good
SameOld: "Only two results possible now: An SA win or a damp draw." --- The latter seems more likely
6.45pm The light has not improved. That is that on the fourth day. SA have ratcheted their lead up to 191 despite a slow-burning effort . Elgar led the way again with resolute defence, before falling 11 short of twin centuries in this Dunedin Test. Faf played a fine supporting hand, moving to a half-century. New Zealand had two incorrect reviews, missed a review, and dropped four chances in the field. Taylor signing autographs on the sidelines. NZ really missed him in the slips. They are now left with a teasing thought: what might have been? This match is nicely set up, though, after late strikes from the spinners - Patel and Santner. The hosts, however, are sweating on the fitness of Boult, who did not take the field in the post-tea session because of a strain in his left leg.
When will SA declare tomorrow? Mind you, 80% chance of rain forecast for Sunday. The radar suggests it will start at 4am. Will rain allow an intriguing finish?
Play will begin at 10.40am (20 minutes early) on the last day in an attempt to accommodate 95 overs. Do come back tomorrow for the climax (hopefully there is no anti-climax because of the rain). Until then, goodbye and good night. Thanks for reading.
6.30pm The light has deteriorated and they head off. Not stumps yet
back over the wicket