International abandoned without ball bowled
CRICKET: The second one-day international between New Zealand and Australia has been abandoned without a ball bowled.
Despite showers clearing in Napier before the start of play, the match was abanded due to an unsafe outfield, with sections of the field along the 30 metre circle failing to dry.
It was a frustrating day for fans at the ground, with the decision to abandon the ODI made at 4:45pm AEDT.
No rain fell in the four-and-a-half hours between the scheduled start of play and the field's fifth and final inspection at 4:30pm and in total only 5.5 millimetres of rain fell all day.
The last two ODIs at Napier's McLean Park have now both been abandoned before the toss.
Coincidentally, the rain returned moments before umpires called it a day.
The Black Caps now lead the series with a game to go, meaning Australia needs to win the final match in Hamilton to retain the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy.
The Kiwis will be hoping to welcome back star opener Martin Guptill for the decider. Guptill was ruled out of the Napier affair with a tight hamstring.
The Australians, meanwhile, will be without Matthew Wade in Hamilton. The keeper and stand-in skipper has flown home with a bad back.
Peter Handscomb will keep in his place, with Finch captaining.