HAMILTON: New Zealand reached 77-2 against Pakistan before rain forced day one of the second and final Test to be abandoned after just 21 overs in Hamilton on Friday.
The players took lunch 15 minutes early as the skies opened, with Jeet Raval on 35 and Ross Taylor on 29 after the early loss of Tom Latham and Kane Williamson.
Three hours later, the umpires tired of waiting for the rain to clear and scratched the final session. Play will resume half-an-hour early at 10:30 am local time on Saturday.
New Zealand’s Trent Boult out of second Test against Pakistan
Rains win again on Day1. Frustrating. May be it's time 4 Cricket 2 go Wimbledon way wid retractable roof, at least in New Zealand? What say?— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) November 25, 2016
Pakistan won the toss in bowler-friendly conditions with a green wicket and heavy cloud cover, but apart from Mohammad Amir, their seamers were unable to pin New Zealand down.
Veteran batsman Ross Taylor, who is to undergo surgery at the end of the Test to remove a growth in his left eye, hit six boundaries in his unbeaten 29 off 20 deliveries.
Raval was dropped on his third delivery but otherwise looked composed as he continued the good form from his maiden Test last week when he compiled innings of 55 and 36 not out.
Apart from Amir, who had the ball swinging through the air and nipping off the deck, the Pakistan seamers were too inconsistent with line and length to make the most of the conditions.
In his opening over, Amir had Raval dropped at first slip by Sami Aslam, and removed Latham for a golden duck.
The Pakistan playing XI that is most likely to win in Hamilton
The one blot on Amir's record was a spilled caught and bowled chance before Williamson had scored.
"There were favourable conditions for the bowlers so I thought the way we played took the wind out of their sails," said New Zealand batting coach Craig McMillan.
Following the early wickets, McMillan believed New Zealand benefited from partnering the left-handed Raval with the right-handed Taylor.
"It was a quality first over from Mohammad Amir where he asked some serious questions from both left handers," he said. "I think that left-hand and right-hand combination is important. At times it can put the bowlers off. Sometimes they can be a little bit slow adjusting to the different lines."
New Zealand eye first Pakistan series win in more than 30 years
But the New Zealand captain could only reach 13 before he was given out caught behind off Sohail Khan.
Umpire Simon Fry turned down the initial appeal but his call was overturned on review, although television replays appeared inconclusive.
The wicket gave Sohail figures of 1-35 off seven overs, while Amir had 1-15 off six.
With conditions favouring fast bowlers, Pakistan went into the Test with four seamers and omitted spinner Yasir Shah.
New Zealand brought in Mitchell Santner as their spinner in place of Todd Astle, with the Hamilton wicket known to take turn in the fourth innings.
New Zealand require only a draw to secure their first series win over Pakistan in more than 30 years, while Pakistan need a win to extend their two-year unbeaten series streak.
DRS in spotlight
The decision review system (DRS) was the major talking point at the end of first day's play following the dismissal of Williamson.
New Zealand were 39-1 when Pakistan fielders appealed for a catch by wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed, adamant Williamson had got an inside edge to a Sohail Khan delivery.
When the appeal was turned down, Azhar asked for a review, and while none of the evidence appeared overly conclusive, with TV relays suggesting the ball had hit his elbow, third umpire Ian Gould said he believed Williamson had got an inside edge and reversed the original decision.
The New Zealand captain looked bemused as he walked off and appeared to tell on-field umpire Simon Fry he had not hit the ball.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ