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Rain washes out final day of tantalizingly poised Dunedin Test

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South Africa and New Zealand were forced to settle for a draw in the first Test of their three-match series after the final day of their clash at the University Oval in Dunedin was washed out by rain on Sunday.

With the match poised for an interesting finish where all three results were possible, the weather had the ultimate say as drizzle turned to steady rain, which was then on and off throughout.

With not much sign of improvement, umpires Kumar Dharmasena and Bruce Oxenford were left with little choice, leading to the two sets of players shaking hands just after lunch and Dean Elgar being named Man of the Match for his 140 and 89 in the first and second innings.

South Africa had been on 224/6 in their second innings – a lead of 191 – heading into the final day. South Africa scored 308 in their first innings, to which New Zealand replied with 341.

"When a Test match finishes on a day like today, it's very frustrating. If today was a full day of cricket, we felt with one (New Zealand) seamer down and one of their main batters out of the team, we fancied our chances. It's very disappointing from that point of view," Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis told International Cricket Council's (ICC) website.

"We were 190 ahead on a wicket that was spinning quite a bit. Purely on the match position, if we got 50-60 more runs, a 250 lead, and set them that in 50-60 overs, we'd fancy our chances," he added.

Commenting on the match, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson said: "To put partnerships together against the very good attack, they have was a good effort. You always want more, which never goes away no matter how many you get, but it was nice to get a little lead going into that second innings."

The second Test match takes place at the Basin Reserve in Wellington starting on Thursday.