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Rain washes out first day of the final Test between England and New Zealand

Heavy overnight and early morning rain meant the square was still fully covered when the captains should have been tossing up at 10.30am (0930GMT). And after several showers, the umpires abandoned play for the day shortly before 4pm (1500GMT). England lead the series 1-0 after a 170-run first Test win, achieved with more than a day to spare, at Lord’s last week.

They dismissed New Zealand for just 68 in the tourists’ second innings with Stuart Broad taking seven wickets for 44 runs. New Zealand had already confirmed their team for this match, having to make two enforced changes.

Batsman Martin Guptill replaced wicket-keeper BJ Watling (knee) and seamer Doug Bracewell came in for spinner Bruce Martin (calf) after both suffered injuries during the first Test.

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, who deputised behind the stumps at Lord’s for Watling, confirmed that he would keep wicket, despite having given up keeping in Tests full-time in 2010 because of back and knee problems.

For England, the only outstanding selection decision appeared to be whether to bring in Tim Bresnan for fellow seamer Steven Finn.

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