Rain saves Australia with Black Caps well on top


Inclement weather halted New Zealand's charge towards what looked like victory over old foes Australia in their ICC Champions Trophy opener, with both sides claiming a point apiece.

Rain showers caused two lengthy delays at Edgbaston on Friday, before a third brought an early end to proceedings with Australia toiling badly in chase of a revised score.

In a match initially reduced to 46 overs per side, New Zealand made 291 all out before Australia's target was adjusted to 235 off 33 following a second heavy downpour.

And Steve Smith's side made a poor start, falling to 53-3 from nine overs before the heavens opened and rescued them a point from a seemingly perilous position.

Both sides are a point behind Group A leaders England, who began the tournament with an eight-wicket win over Bangladesh on Thursday.

The Black Caps' total was underpinned by 100 from Kane Williamson, while Luke Ronchi provided fireworks with 65 from just 43 balls including nine fours and three sixes.

Josh Hazlewood's 6-52 - the second-best figures in Champions Trophy history - ensured a strong fightback from Australia, but it was they who were ultimately thankful for the elements intervening.