Wellington: The stop-start nature of a weather-affected third Test and howling winds that were gusting more than 80kph had rated as one of Daniel Vettori's worst in Test cricket, the former New Zealand captain said on Saturday.
Constant drizzle, chilly conditions and the blustery northerly made the second day of the third Test against South Africa at the Basin Reserve one of attrition for New Zealand's bowlers.
They managed just 37 overs on Saturday after rain delayed the start of play for more than four hours, before bad light drove them from the field with 12 overs still due to be bowled in the day's play.
Vettori was jovial yet fortright when asked about how the day's play had rated in his memory. (Getty Images)
Vettori was jovial yet fortright when asked about how the day's play had rated in his memory.
"From 460 odd days of Test cricket, somewhere near the bottom," he said.
"Into the wind it's pretty tough for the seamers and even for the spinners. You get blown around in your run up and in your delivery stride and it can be a little difficult.
"It was a tough day for a bowling side."
Alviro Petersen (96 not out) and JP Duminy (76 not out) had accumulated a further 110 runs without any loss of wickets after play finally got going at 1425 local (0325 GMT), almost four and a half hours after the scheduled start time to guide the visitors to a commanding 246 for two at the close of play.
The pair offered New Zealand bowlers little opportunity for the breakthrough on a good paced wicket that gave little assistance, though Petersen was dropped by a diving Martin Guptill when he was on 68.
"I think we were pretty disappointed after winning the toss and that first session (on Friday)," Vettori said.
"We probably fought back a little bit last night with the big wicket of (Hashim) Amla but the sort of stop-start nature of today ... I think half the guys arrived a little bit late from both teams.
"Just getting into the day wasn't as successful as we wanted because we needed an early breakthrough this afternoon so overall we are disappointed in only taking two wickets on a wicket that offered some assistance early on."
Duminy said South Africa, who only need to draw the Test to win the series 1-0 after they won the second match in Hamilton by nine wickets, were unsure of their tactics heading into day three, with the weather expected to get better and remain that way for the remainder of the Test.
Duminy was non-committal when asked if the South Africans may just hunker down and bat New Zealand out of the Test rather push than for victory.
"We haven't really discussed the plans going forward."
"I think tomorrow morning we'll sit down and do that (discuss tactics). For now we're just pleased with the situation of the game," he said.