New Zealand’s first-class competition, the Plunket Shield, witnessed a rare double 0-for-0 declaration as Central Districts and Canterbury pushed for a decisive result in a rain-hit match in Nelson.
The result arrived in dramatic fashion, with left-arm quick Ryan McCone bowling the Canterbury No. 11 Andrew Hazeldine off the last ball of the penultimate over of the match. The last-wicket pair of Hazeldine and Will Williams had defied Central Districts’ bowlers for 25.5 overs and steered Canterbury to the verge of an unlilkely draw.
With rain wiping out two full days of play, the fourth and final day began with Central Districts 301 for 7 in their first innings. They proceeded to add 51 to their total – in which time Willem Ludick brought up his maiden first-class hundred, in only his second match – before declaring in the seventh over of the day.
Canterbury then declared their first innings at 0 for 0, and Central Districts proceeded to do the same in their second, effectively rendering this a one-innings match.
The two most recent examples of double 0-for-0 declarations in first-class cricket both involved Hampshire in the 2013 County Championship, against Gloucestershire and Leicestershire. It has only happened once in Test cricket – during the controversial Centurion Test between South Africa and England in 2000.
Set a target of 353 in a possible 89 overs, Canterbury were two down in the seventh over and kept losing regular wickets thereafter. When Seth Rance brought up his sixth first-class five-wicket haul, Canterbury were nine down with 26.5 overs still remaining. Victory, however, would only arrive after an agonising wait.