HAMILTON, New Zealand (AFP) – Centuries from Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor ensured New Zealand drew the rain-hit second Test against England in Hamilton yesterday, sealing a 1-0 series win.
New Zealand batted the final day needing a substantial innings to avoid defeat and were helped by sloppy England fielding.
Williamson, who had three lives including a howler of a dropped catch by Joe Denly, described it as a “good effort” to end up with a draw.
“A lot of hard work had to go into saving the match when time didn’t allow us an opportunity to win it,” he said.
However, England captain Joe Root felt the Test was always heading for a draw, saying even if the weather and fielding had gone England’s way “we still couldn’t have forced a result.”
Heavy rain arrived soon after lunch to end play on the fifth day when New Zealand were 241 for two in their second innings, 140 ahead with Taylor on 105 and Williamson on 104.
It ensured the spoils went to New Zealand after their innings victory in the first Test, and improved their record to eight wins, a draw and one loss to South Africa in their past 10 Test series.
Williamson brought up his 21st Test century with a four off Joe Root in the third over after lunch, while Taylor reached century number 19 with a flourish in Root’s next over when he smacked a four and two sixes in consecutive balls.
Two balls after Taylor had raised his bat and poked his tongue out in his signature celebration, the rain arrived to wash out England’s faint hopes.
New Zealand resumed the day at 96 for two with England hunting early wickets but their plans went off track when Ollie Pope and then Denly spilled simple chances from Williamson.