The rain came at the perfect time for West Indies, as they were handed the most fortuitous of draws against New Zealand in Dunedin on Saturday.
With the hosts just 33 runs from victory in the final few overs before tea on day five, the heavens suddenly opened—starting a spell of precipitation that would see West Indies through to the close of play and a draw they could scarcely believe.
The tourists’ draw was not entirely without merit, however, with Dwayne Bravo and Darren Sammy perhaps seeing it as due reward for spending nearly ten hours at the crease and compiling resolute innings' of 218 and 80 respectively.
Nevertheless, New Zealand will have thought they were just a few overs from wrapping things up, before fate intervened.
“You are obviously judged by your results," captain Brendon McCullum told ESPNCricinfo after the game. "We did everything we could to win this Test match and I believe we'd have won if it hadn't rained.
“We've had some lows during the time as well, but I firmly believe we are performing pretty well in Test cricket and sooner or later the wins will come. We just have to keep persevering and if we get the odd slice of luck go our way then those results will follow."
McCullum’s opposite number, Sammy, felt his side had earned their luck after being forced to adapt quickly following a harrowing tour of India earlier in the year.
"We came from India, where we had a miserable Test series," Sammy noted. "We came here, we had two-and-a-half days to prepare in conditions that three quarters of my side have not been in and it showed in the first two innings of the match.
"Winning the toss on a grassy top with a little bit of moisture, I don't think in the first couple of overs we put any ball in the six-metre line, we were all over the place and hence we were facing 600. Then our turn at the crease, I thought it was all India again."
If Sammy and Bravo had played a major role in delaying matters enough for the rain to sweep in, then it was Shane Shillingford who also put in a vital shift—with bat and ball.
Alongside Sammy, Shillingford spent nearly an hour at the crease in a 38-run partnership that frustrated New Zealand at the start of the day, before ripping through the top order with the ball to derail any hopes the hosts would have had of easily knocking off the 112 runs they were set to win.
Shillingford got Peter Fulton just before lunch after Hot-Spot showed a nick on the way down to Denesh Ramdin, before Aaron Redmond was caught by Narsingh Deonarine at leg gully a few overs later.
Hamish Rutherford and Brendon McCullum soon followed, but the West Indies fast bowlers were unable to help Shillingford from the other end. Ross Taylor and Corey Anderson began to settle at the crease and finally made real progress towards that 112 target…and then the weather intervened.
New Zealand drew with West Indies.
NZ: 609 for 9 dec and 79 for 4 (Anderson 20*, Taylor 16*, Shillingford 4-16)
WI: 213 and 507 (f/o) (Bravo 218, Sammy 80, Wagner 3-112)
Full scorecard at ESPNCricinfo.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!