Match abandoned due to rain New Zealand 3 for 30 (Styris 12*, Lee 2-12) v Australia
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Brett Lee struck when he removed Lou Vincent in the first over and further success followed before rain stopped play © Getty Images

Rain ended Australia's hopes of regaining the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy within three days as only six overs were possible in the second ODI at the SCG. Australia were well on top when the weather turned bad, reducing New Zealand to 3 for 30 after Daniel Vettori chose to bat.

The umpires called for the covers at 3.30pm local time, just 30 minutes after the start, which had also been delayed due to drizzle. As the day progressed the weather radar continued to display a bleak outlook and only the most optimistic spectators stayed at the ground.

Scott Styris remained unbeaten on 12 and Ross Taylor was on 5 following the early fireworks from Brett Lee and Nathan Bracken. Lee finished with 2 for 12 from his three overs and Bracken collected 1 for 18.

The day began badly for New Zealand when the out-of-form Lou Vincent edged Lee to Ricky Ponting at second slip for 0 from the second ball of the match. Last time Vincent was in Australia, for the CB Series, he made three half-centuries from four innings but his only ODIs since the World Cup have yielded 6, 9, 18, 5 and 0.

He was followed in the next over by Jamie How, who made 4 before he tried to cut a Bracken inswinger that was too close to his body. How sent a simple chance to Matthew Hayden at first slip and New Zealand were 2 for 7.

That became 3 for 12 from three overs when Lee deceived the dangerous Brendon McCullum (5) with a wider, slower delivery that McCullum drove in the air to Brad Hogg at mid off. Styris was lucky to survive when he fended Bracken just wide of second slip and he was just starting to find some form with a pair of boundaries cut forward of square off Bracken when the umpires called for the covers.

The abandoned match was as good as a victory for New Zealand, who lost the first game at Adelaide Oval on Friday. As the holders of the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy they will retain the prize if they level the series with a win in the third match in Hobart on Thursday.

Brydon Coverdale is an editorial assistant at Cricinfo