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Rain comes to West Indies~~ aid against England

Published: Sunday, May 27, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Leeds:Rain came to West Indies' aid when the whole of the third day's play in their second Test against England here at Headingley on Sunday was washed out.

Groundstaff, during the lunch break, removed covers off the pitch only for rain to return and prevent a resumption before tea.

Umpires Rudi Koertzen of South Africa and Asad Rauf of Pakistan finally abandoned play for the day at 5.05pm local time (1605GMT).

West Indies, having been made to follow-on, were facing an innings defeat at 22 for two - still a huge 402 runs shy of making England bat again - and going 1-0 down in the four-match series after the drawn opener at Lord's.

West Indies' task of saving the game was made harder by knowing that captain and top-order batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan would only, according to a team spokesman, "bat in an emergency."

Scorecard of 2nd Test Day 2

Sarwan didn't bat in the first innings after sustaining a shoulder injury while fielding Friday which threatened his continued tour participation.

If he doesn't bat in the second innings, West Indies will have to try to survive for two days with just seven wickets standing.

Chris Gayle was nine not out after nightwatchman Daren Powell was out to the last ball of Saturday's play.

Powell was one of six second day wickets for Ryan Sidebottom.

The 29-year-old Nottinghamshire left-arm seamer, playing in place of the injured Matthew Hoggard, was appearing in just his second Test six years after a wicketless debut against Pakistan at Lord's.

England's dominant position had been created by Kevin Pietersen's Test best 226 in a total of 570 for seven declared.

That innings also saw captain Michael Vaughan, on his Yorkshire home ground, score 103 on his return to Test cricket after 18 months on the sidelines with several injuries.

Pietersen's was the highest Test score by an England player since Graham Gooch's 333 against India at Lord's in 1990.

The 26-year-old South Africa-born batsman's innings meant only Australia legend Sir Donald Bradman, with 3,194 runs, had scored more in his first 25 Tests than Pietersen's 2,448.

Sidebottom, who began his career with Yorkshire before moving three years ago, took four for 42 as West Indies collapsed to 146 all out.

The tourists, without Shivnarine Chanderpaul for this match after the experienced batsman, withdrew because of a right knee injury, then lost two more wickets to Sidebottom, whose father Arnie played one Test for England in 1985 against Australia.

That left Sidebottom with a second innings return so far of two for 12 in five overs and a current match haul of six for 54.

AFP

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