New Zealand assess injury list as rain ends closely-fought contest
South Africa 308 (Elgar 140, Bavuma 64, du Plessis 52, Boult 4-64) and 224 for 6 (Elgar 89, du Plessis 56*) drew with New Zealand 341 (Williamson 130, Raval 52, Watling 50, Maharaj 5-94)
Scorcard and ball-by-ball details
As forecast the rain swept into Dunedin and washed out what could have been an intriguing final day to the first Test. The umpires made the inevitable call at 1.40pm to bring a damp end to a closely-contested encounter.
Much like five years ago when these two sides last met here everything was possible on the final day. In 2012, New Zealand needed 264 runs with eight wickets in hand so South Africa would have fancied their chances. The same can be said this time even though a lead of 191 was far from secure: if they had extended that to 250 it would have been a tough chase on a pitch that had never been easy for scoring swiftly.
Instead, the teams move to Wellington for second Test, which starts on March 16, having spent four days sparring at each other. There was little to split the sides: Dean Elgar and Kane Williamson traded hundreds, pace bowlers from both sides but in the hard yards and the spinners had a say on a ground not usually in their favour.
However, it's New Zealand who will leave with greater concerns because of injuries to two key players. Ross Taylor suffered a calf strain on the second day which forced him to retire hurt and he has been ruled out of the second Test. Trent Boult was then absent from the field after tea yesterday with a hip problem - he and Neil Wagner had a significant workload over the four days because of the decision to play two spinners - and will be monitored over the next three days. Losing one would be problematic; losing both would severely test New Zealand's red-ball depth.
New Zealand will need to ponder whether they re-balance the side for the Basin Reserve. Jeetan Patel now appears the No. 1 spinner which could put pressure on Mitchell Santner who laboured with the bat in the first innings in Dunedin. Santner was not used for a large part of the fourth day, but when he did finally get a bowl claimed the wicket of Temba Bavuma.
South Africa are comfortable with the set-up of their Test side - three quicks, Keshav Maharaj's spin and JP Duminy if required, although his bowling has gone backwards. Bavuma's first-innings half-century was timely for him after a lean series against Sri Lanka and while Duminy was scratchy, after a poor one-day series, he has credit in the bank in the Test line-up.
Stephen Cook missed out twice, falling to the new-ball against Boult, although appeared not to hit the ball in the second innings. Quinton de Kock faces a little personal challenge to break free from being dominated by Patel who has him four times in four innings.
Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo