The inaugural World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand at Southampton was hit by yet more bad weather on Monday as rain washed out the whole of the fourth day's play -- the second time in the match a day's play had been abandoned without a ball bowled.
Friday's opening day suffered a similar fate and, with bad light bringing about an early close on Saturday and Sunday, only 141.1 overs out of a scheduled 360 have so far been bowled.
Sunday's absorbing day of high-quality cricket ended with New Zealand 101-2 in reply to India's first innings 217 -- a deficit of 116 runs.
Given a standard men's Test lasts a maximum of five days, this match would usually be destined for a draw.
The provision of a reserve day on Wednesday, however, offers the hope that one team will be able to claim a winners' cheque worth $1.6 million, with the runners-up receiving $800,000.
But that is still no guarantee a two-year process to crown Test cricket's first official world champion will end with an outright winner.
The International Cricket Council confirmed Monday the final would be extended into Wednesday if the match had not been completed by close of play on Tuesday's fifth day.
But the global governing body stressed the aim of using the reserve day was to do with making up the overs lost in the game, rather than trying to force a result.
The ICC added a decision would be taken by the match officials 60 minutes before the scheduled close of play on day five.
Tickets have now gone on sale to spectators who had paid to attend the washed-out first and fourth days, with fans who missed out in the initial ballot able to buy tickets from Tuesday.
Overnight and early morning rain meant the pitch and square at Hampshire's headquarters remained fully covered when the match should have resumed at 10:30 am local time (0930 GMT) Monday.
Play was finally abandoned for the day at 3:00 pm (1400 GMT).
Sunday saw New Zealand's Kyle Jamieson take an impressive 5-31 in 22 overs -- the towering paceman's fifth five-wicket haul in just eight career Tests.
Blackcaps opener Devon Conway fell for 54 two balls before stumps.
It was his third score of over fifty in just five Test innings following the 29-year-old South Africa-born left-hander's stunning 200 on his debut against England at Lord's this month.
India, as New Zealand had done after winning the toss, bowled well in helpful conditions with fast bowler Ishant Sharma having figures of 1-19 in 12 overs at Sunday's close and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin 1-20 in 12.