SECOND ONE-DAY INTERNATIONAL, Edgbaston:
England 162 (24 ovs) v New Zealand 127-2 (19 ovs)
Kiwi lynchpin McCullum had taken his team to the brink of victory
New Zealand were denied victory when the second one-day international was abandoned with only six balls left to be bowled to constitute a result.
The Kiwis were on course for a revised 160 from 23 overs but at 127-2 after 19, rain took the players off.
In a match first cut to 29 overs per side, Luke Wright smashed successive sixes and added five fours in his 52.
Paul Collingwood fired 37 in 24 balls and Dimitri Mascarenhas hit a useful 23 as England made 162 off their 24 overs.
The New Zealanders were desperate to complete the 20th over, which would have allowed them to win under the Duckworth/Lewis regulations if they had scored seven further runs without losing a wicket.
But to the agony of Brendon McCullum, who was unbeaten on 60, the umpires decided that the conditions had deteriorated too severely and the game had to come to an end.
It was a heartbreaking moment for the tourists, and rather summed up their mood following defeat in the final two Tests, the Twenty20 and a 114-run reverse in the opening match of this series.
In weather more suited to a rugby union international in Wellington, the typically enthusiastic Edgbaston crowd were hoping for a repeat of Kevin Pietersen's memorable century in the previous game at Durham.
They had nothing but covers to see for the morning and early part of the afternoon, but Pietersen was at the crease in the first over after Ian Bell spooned a leading edge to mid-off for a third ball duck.
There was no sign of the infamous left-handed range, and he drove to mid-off for 13.
But Wright, after an edgy start, gave them plenty of entertainment with some superbly clean hitting, before holing out to long-off with what proved to be the final ball before a heavy rain storm descended and halted play.
When England resumed on 77-3 they had only 11 overs and two balls with which to set a target, and Daniel Vettori bowling with customary guile.
But Scott Styris dropped some deliveries short and Owais Shah was quick to seize upon them, following his 49 in the first match with another display of fluent hitting, his six deep into the stands at mid-wicket measured at 97 metres.
Collingwood, who survived a clear early stumping chance off Vettori, also struck a huge six, skipping down the wicket to launch the spinner over long-on, in a partnership of 46 from five overs.
Wright had given England a useful start with some impressive hitting
When he was caught at deep cover, a third wicket for the medium pace of one-day debutant Grant Elliott, it left Tim Ambrose in an invidious position with little more than three overs to score some quick runs.
Mascarenhas hit the opening two deliveries of the final over from Tim Southee for two and four but the teenage paceman struck twice in two balls, narrowly avoiding a hat-trick when a low full toss whizzed past Stuart Broad's off-stump.
Broad was the third wicket of what became an economical over, after which New Zealand's target was adjusted to 165 from the 24 overs.
A mid-innings break of half an hour was hard to justifty to a crowd who had spent in excess of four hours waiting for play, and sure enough in that time rain returned to prompt a further recalculation.
It still looked a favourable chase for the Kiwis, despite their recent batting anxieties, and they were given the ideal start by two wides from James Anderson's opening two deliveries.
McCullum and Jamie How had spells of what the tourists would no doubt feel was long overdue fortune, mixing some authentic attacking shots with inside edges past the stumps. Collingwood continued to ring the changes, bringing back Broad, but McCullum drove through the covers fluently to bring up the 50 from the first ball of the eighth over.
Ross Taylor kept up the momentum with McCullum and the pair recorded their fifty partnership from only 31 balls.
Taylor needlessly hoicked a low full toss to the safe hands of Wright on the mid-wicket boundary, leaving 81 needed from 72.
The Kiwis were now battling not just the run chase and possible calculations about where they needed to be on the Duckworth/Lewis scale but also every darkening cloud.
Fairness to both teams had to be considered, and it was remarkably dark.
With the addition of torrential rain the umpires took the players off, when Broad was about to begin the all-important 20th over.
Any fortune that had briefly gone Vettori's team's way had definitely come to an end.