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Archer gets England cap as rain washes out start of Lord’s Test

Updated August 15, 2019

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LONDON: A spectator stands with an umbrella as rain delays play on the first day of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s on Wednesday.—Reuters
LONDON: A spectator stands with an umbrella as rain delays play on the first day of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s on Wednesday.—Reuters

LONDON: Jofra Archer received his England Test cap but was still to make his debut as rain saw the first day of Wednesday’s second Ashes match against Australia abandoned without a ball bowled at a soaking wet Lord’s.

Chris Jordan, a Sussex team-mate, presented Archer with the cap in England’s pre-match huddle ahead of a revised toss at 3:00pm local time (1400 GMT) — only for further rain to delay the start once again.

With rain still lashing an increasingly gloomy ‘home of cricket’, umpires Aleem Dar of Pakistan and his New Zealand colleague Chris Gaffaney finally abandoned play for the day after tea at 4:19pm local time (1519 GMT) Jordan may only have made eight Test appearances but he has been something of a ‘cricket brother’ for fellow Barbados-born county colleague Archer.

When the match should have been getting underway at 11:00am (1000 GMT), the square and pitch remained fully covered.

Further rain then meant hopes of any play before lunch soon disappeared as well.

Now officials will hope the weather relents sufficiently for the match to begin at the scheduled 1000 GMT start of Thursday’s second day.

Ashes-holders Australia lead the five-match series 1-0 after their 251-run win in the first Test at Edgbaston last week.

It is 18 years since Australia last won an Ashes series in England.

In 17 of the last 19 Ashes campaigns, the team that has led 1-0 has won the series.

The exceptions were in 1997 when Australia lost at Edgbaston, but won the six-match series 3-2 and 2005 when England lost at Lord’s but won the five-Test series 2-1.

World Cup-winner Archer is set to play after James Anderson, England’s all-time leading wicket-taker, was ruled out with a calf injury that meant he bowled just four overs at Edgbaston.

Neither England nor Australia have yet named their teams. They are not required to do so until the toss takes place. But Australia were set to make at least one change to their fast-bowling attack at Lord’s, with James Pattinson rested and Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood brought into the tourists’ 12-man squad.

With the Test now reduced to four days with time added on daily, the follow-on will be 150 runs.

Published in Dawn, August 15th, 2019