SMART SAVE: West Indies offspinner Shane Shillingford fields off his own bowling to prevent New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor, right, from attempting a run at the non-strikers end on the fifth and final day of the first Test at University Oval in Dunedin, New Zealand yesterday. Rain interrupted New Zealand’s chase at 79 for four as the hosts pursued a victory target of 112, and the match ended in a draw. —Photo courtesy WICB Media

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Rain to the rescue

...As Windies draw after second innings fightback

 Offspinner Shane Shillingford led a West Indies fightback in the opening Test against New Zealand, which ended in a draw yesterday.

Forecast rain arrived in Dunedin just before lunch on the fifth day leaving New Zealand stranded at 79 for 4, 33 runs short of victory. The match was abandoned shortly after 6 p.m. following a desperate attempt to mop up and to give New Zealand a chance for victory.

Shillingford took all four wickets to stall New Zealand’s hopes of a first win in ten Test matches. He finished with four for 26 off 15 tight and penetrative overs.

Earlier, the West Indies batted through the morning session to reach 507 all out. Darren Bravo top scored with 218.

Needing just 112 for victory, New Zealand made a shaky start to their second innings.

Peter Fulton was caught behind for three and Aaron Redmond was caught at leg slip for seven.

Hamish Rutherford (20) was caught slogging at long on for the second time in the match and Brendon McCullum miscued a sweep shot to wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin for nine.

When the rain arrived Ross Taylor was 16 not out and the all rounder Corey Anderson was unbeaten on 20.

Taylor was declared man of the match after lodging his highest score in Test cricket of 217 not out in New Zealand’s first innings.

“We were still very confident that Ross and Corey would put together a partnership to win and we had some very good batters to come as well,” said McCullum.

“We can still improve, but overall I thought it was a pretty good Test by us.”

West Indies captain Darren Sammy is satisfied with his side’s second innings’ effort, crediting Bravo for his double century knock.

“It was a good comeback from us, though the weather did play a part,” Sammy said.

“I think coming from India and only having a couple of days to get ready really showed in the first two innings of the match.

“The way we fought as a team, credit must go to Darren Bravo to put the team into a position where we are happy with the draw.”

West Indies have not won a Test in New Zealand in 18 years and New Zealand’s drought continues, having drawn six and lost four of their Test matches since November 2012.

The second match of the three-Test series starts at Wellington’s Basin Reserve on Wednesday (Tuesday 5:30 p.m. Eastern Caribbean, 4:30 p.m. Jamaica). —CMC

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