Rain has interrupted the second cricket test between New Zealand and the West Indies on its second day Sunday, leaving the match hanging in a delicate balance.
The West Indies were 87-2 with captain Kraigg Brathwaite 45 not out when the players were forced from the field midway between lunch and tea. At first the players seemed reluctant to leave in a light drizzle but the rain increased in strength, forcing ground staff to fully cover the pitch and its surrounds.
The West Indies are replying to New Zealand's first innings of 373, struggling to level the two-test series which New Zealand leads after winning the first test at Wellington by an innings and 67 runs.
They suffered an early setback with the loss of Kieran Powell in the first over of the innings.
Brathwaite and Shimron Hetmyer put the innings back on track with a 41-run partnership for the second wicket and Hetmyer was beginning to dominate the New Zealand bowlers when he fell to a brilliant catch by Trent Boult off his own bowling.
Hetmyer was 28 and had hit four fours and a six - 22 runs from boundaries - when he prodded uncertainly at a ball from Boult which lobbed back along the off side of the pitch.Boult stopped himself in his follow through and threw himself to the left to take a super one-handed catch.
Brathwaite had a life early in his innings when he steered a ball through the slip cordon which passed Tom Latham before he had a chance to react. He was looking settled by the rain break, hhowever, having faced 59 balls and hit seven fours and a six. Fours and sixes make up an unusually large proportion of the score at Seddon Park because of its relatively short boundaries.
Shai Hope, who was 14 not out when the rain came, was also chancy at times be also seemed to be more comfortable before the break and had added 41 with Brathwaite from 45 balls.
Earlier Sunday, a quickfire last-wicket partnership of 61 in 41 minutes between Tim Southee and Trent Boult had strengthened New Zealand's overnight position.
Boult struck an unbeaten 37 from 27 balls with five fours and two sixes and Southee hit 31 from 39 balls with one four and two sixes in a partnership which spanned only eight overs but helped New Zealand reach 373 in its first innings.
New Zealand resumed Sunday at 286-7 after losing the toss and being asked to bat on an even first day at Seddon Park.
Neil Wagner fell to a superb diving catch at gully by Hope in the first over of the day and wicketkeeper Tom Blundell made 28 to further the innings before Southee and Boult launched their late offensive against the West Indies bowling.
Boult holds the record for the most sixes hit by a No. 11 batsman in tests, improving that mark on Sunday to 25. His batting was unorthodox but effective; he often backed away to leg and slashed the ball through gaps on the off side or clubbed it back over the bowler's head.
For the West Indies, Shannon Gabriel finished with 4-119, bowling three of his victims, while Kemar Roach took 3-58 and Miguel Cummins 2-57.