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Rain ruins final day of Test
John Mehaffey | May 21, 2007 23:25 IST
Last Updated: May 21, 2007 23:35 IST
Rain and bad light ruined the final day of the first test between England and West Indies at Lord's on Monday with the players taking the field for only 79 minutes.
West Indies, set 401 to win, were 89 without loss when the teams departed for the second and final time in the afternoon session.
Steady drizzle ended the morning's play after 34 minutes and bad light brought a premature close after 45 minutes in the afternoon. Play was finally called off at 5.50 p.m.
Chris Gayle was unbeaten on 47 and his opening partner Daren Ganga, who brought up his 2,000th test run by slashing a Steve Harmison no-ball over the slips for four, had scored 31.
The teams meet again at Headingley in Leeds on Friday in the second of the four-test series.
West Indies, resuming at seven for no wicket, made a confident start with Gayle striking four boundaries.
The disappointing Harmison, who conceded 117 runs in the first innings for the sole wicket of number 10 Jerome Taylor, was removed from the attack, and acting captain Andrew Strauss called up Monty Panesar.
The left-arm spinner, who returned his best test figures of six for 129 in West Indies' first innings, paced out his run but did not bowl a ball as light drizzle began to fall and the players left the field.
They returned in the afternoon, giving the chance for Ganga to play two elegant cover-drives to the boundary off Panesar, before the light deteriorated.
West Indies, who went into the test after only one rain-shortened practice match, will be the happier of the two teams.
Their pace bowlers failed to make an impact and their fielding was slipshod but they showed plenty of fighting spirit in their first innings, reaching 437 after they had been reduced to 187 for five.
A draw gives the tourists breathing space before Headingley and ensures there will be no repetition of the 4-0 whitewash four years ago.
England captain Michael Vaughan, who fractured a finger, is likely to return for the Headingley test in place of Owais Shah, who made six and four as a replacement for injured all rounder Andrew Flintoff.
Flintoff, who failed a fitness test on his left ankle before the Lord's match, played as a batsman for Lancashire at the weekend and will be reassessed before the second test.
Opening bowler Matthew Hoggard played no further part in the match after leaving the field with a thigh injury on Saturday and is unlikely to play in Leeds.