Sat, May 25, 2013 - Page 20 News List

Rain delays second Test at Headingley

AFP, LEEDS, England

A spectator looks through binoculars after the second Test match between England and New Zealand was delayed by rain at Headingley in Leeds, England, yesterday.

Photo: Reuters

Rain delayed the scheduled 11am start of the second and final Test between England and New Zealand at Headingley in Leeds yesterday.

Heavy overnight and early morning rain meant the square was still fully covered when the captains should have been tossing up at 10:30am.

With rain still falling, the umpires said they would only inspect when it stopped. It was estimated it would take at least 90 minutes to dry the ground.

England lead the series 1-0 after a 170-run first Test win, achieved with more than a day to spare, at Lord’s on Sunday. They dismissed New Zealand for just 68 in the tourists’ second innings, with Stuart Broad taking seven wickets for 44 runs.

New Zealand had already confirmed their team for yesterday’s match, having to make two enforced changes.

Batsman Martin Guptill replaced wicketkeeper B.J. Watling (knee) and seamer Doug Bracewell came in for spinner Bruce Martin (calf) after the pair suffered injuries in the first Test.

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, who deputized behind the stumps at Lord’s for Watling, confirmed on Thursday he would keep wicket, despite having given up keeping in Tests full-time in 2010 because of back and knee problems.

The tourists hopes of recalling spinner Daniel Vettori after nearly a year out of Test cricket through injury ended when the former New Zealand captain was declared unfit for a five-day match on Thursday.

That left New Zealand with a four-man seam attack, spin being provided by occasional off-break bowler and top-order batsman Kane Williamson.

For England, the only outstanding selection decision appeared to be whether to bring in Tim Bresnan, who missed out at Lord’s, for fellow seamer Steven Finn.

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