Rain washes out third day of Bangladesh-NZ Test in Christchurch

Christchurch, Jan 22 (IANS) An incessant downpour washed out the third day of an evenly poised second cricket Test match between Bangladesh and New Zealand here on Sunday.

Play was called off at the Hagley Oval without a ball being bowled due to the heavy rain, which had also cut short the final session on the second day, reports bdnews24.com.

Fourth day’s play has been rescheduled to begin half hour early on Monday.

Having bowled Bangladesh out for 289 in the opening day, the Kiwis were cruising on 153 for 2 at one stage on Saturday.

But Bangladesh fought back in the final session to snap up late breakthroughs, leaving New Zealand on 260 for 7 in their first innings, still 29 runs behind the tourists.

Stand-in captain Tamim Iqbal unleashed ace all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, who bowled just four of the first 66 Bangladesh overs, which took dramatic effect late on Saturday.

The southpaw cleaned up the New Zealand middle-order by taking three wickets — Mitchell Santner, BJ Watling and Colin de Grandhomme — in two overs, reducing them from 252/4 to 256/7 to raise hopes of snatching an unlikely lead for his side.

But rain swept in afterwards. More than 100 overs of the game have been wiped out by the rain, with the match hanging in the balance.

As both teams looking for a result out of the low-scoring final game of the month-long series, the wet conditions could play a pivotal role in the remaining days.

The forecast for Monday, however, is better – mostly sunny with spells of overcast skies which may, however, lead to pauses.

Henry Nicholls (56) and Tim Southee (4) are at the crease for New Zealand if the weather allows.

Bangladesh lost the first Test by seven wickets in Wellington.