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Hesson says first Test still of value

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 23/08/2016

Coach Mike Hesson believes the Black Caps can still take plenty from a rain-affected opening cricket Test against South Africa that lasted only 100 overs in Durban.

New Zealand were 15-2, in reply to the Proteas' first innings of 263, when the players left the field before lunch on day two. They never came back.

After a big downpour on the second day, there was no more rain, but a wet, damp outfield prevented any further play and the match was ruled a draw on the fifth morning.

Despite the brevity of the contest, Hesson says his bowlers were able to gather a lot of information about the South African batsmen.

"We've seen a bit on our video screen, but it's nothing like real-life feedback," he said.

"From a bowling point of view, we learnt a lot regarding our lengths when it swings, maybe just adjusting our seam presentation a little - just some of the little subtleties we can introduce to evolve our game."

He said the challenges presented to the New Zealand batsmen in the 12 overs they faced - openers Tom Latham and Martin Guptill both fell to paceman Dale Steyn, who finished with 2-3 - would be a good experience.

The lack of action for 11 of the 15 sessions will put the spotlight on Cricket South Africa's decision to stage a winter Test in Durban for the first time.

Hesson said both sides had been keen to get back out but respected the decision of the umpires.

"Even from the time we arrived at this Test match, we knew that the outfield was in a poor state and obviously it just didn't cope with the rain," he said.

"But let's make it very clear - both teams were very keen to play."

The second and final Test starts in Pretoria on Saturday.

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