Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor hit tons while New Zealand tied the second test against England to win the series
HAMILTON: Centuries of Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor insured New Zealand drew the second rain test against England in Hamilton on Tuesday, sealing a 1-0 series victory.
The weather turned sour soon after lunch on the fifth day when New Zealand , having taken advantage of some sloppy fielding, were 241/2 in their second innings, 140 ahead with Taylor on 105 and Williamson on 104.
With the weather denying England a second turn at bat, it insured New Zealand 's series win 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 series.
Williamson took out his 21st century trial with a four 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 hope of forcing a result although that chance had already been damaged by dropped catches.
That's all folks. The Black Caps seal a 1-0 series victory https://t.co/eqWTtcAsI3 - Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) 1575341895000
New Zealand resumed the day at 96/2 with England hunting early wickets but their plans went off track when Ollie Pope and Joe Denly spilled simple chances from Williamson.
The New Zealand skipper was on 39 when wicketkeeper Pope put down a regulation offering off the gloves, much to bowler Ben Stokes annoyance, and on 62 Denly inexplicably dropped an even easier chance.
Williamson gently chipped a slower delivery from Jofra Archer straight to Denly at short mid-wicket and, as the bowler leapt in celebration and Williamson made an apologetic gesture to Taylor, the ball popped out of Denly's hands.
It drew instant comparisons on social media to the widely regarded worst dropped catch in Test history when England 's Mike Gatting put down a sitter off the gloves of India batsman Kiran More in 1993.
Williamson had another life when he should have run out of 97, but Sam Curran, shy at the stumps, was so out of line that the batters took an extra run.
Even without the rain, Joe Root 's chances of pulling off victory seemed very remote as the England bowlers toiled with an ageing ball on an unresponsive wicket.
The one positive for the England captain was his return to form with a double century and Man-of-the-Match award after a year of averaging below 30 to give him confidence heading into a four-Test tour of South Africa.
New Zealand , meanwhile, head to Australia on Saturday for a three-Test series with the 1-0 win over England cementing their number two world ranking behind India.