Rain frustrates England, NZ as day three of Lord’s Test washed out

Published June 5, 2021
LONDON: The umpires inspect the pitch as groundstaff clear water off a cover after rain disrupted play on the third day of the first Test between England and New Zealand at Lord’s on Friday. — AFP
LONDON: The umpires inspect the pitch as groundstaff clear water off a cover after rain disrupted play on the third day of the first Test between England and New Zealand at Lord’s on Friday. — AFP

LONDON: England and New Zealand were left kicking their heels in the Lord’s Pavilion after rain prevented any play on Friday’s third day of the first Test.

The pitch and square remained fully covered all dayand the umpires, following an inspection carried out while rain was still falling, announced at 4:31 pm (1531 GMT) that there was no prospect of play before the cut-off time for a re-start of 6:00 pm (1700 GMT).

Play is set to resume at 11:00 am (1000 GMT) on Saturday, with 98 overs — as opposed to the standard 90 — to be bowled on each of the next two days in a bid to help compensate for Friday’s lack of action.

The match is intriguingly poised, with England 111-2 in reply to New Zealand’s first-innings 378 that featured debutant Devon Conway’s 200 — the highest score by a batsman making his Test bow in England.

England, 267 runs behind, slumped to 18-2 before ending the second day with Rory Burns 59 not out and England captain Joe Root 42 not out following an unbroken stand of 93.

New Zealand looked like batting England out of the game while South Africa-born opener Conway and fellow left-hander Henry Nicholls (61) were sharing a fourth-wicket partnership of 174.

But they lost four wickets for just six runs as they slumped from 288-3 to 294-7, with Mark Wood, the fastest member of England’s pace quartet, instigating a collapse.

Meanwhile, Test debutant paceman Ollie Robinson led England’s attack with 4-75 in the first of this two-Test series.

This match at Lord’s, the northwest London headquarters of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), marks the return of spectators to international cricket in England after last season’s fixtures were all played behind closed doors because of coronavirus restrictions.

The second Test is due to take place at Birmingham’s Edgbaston from June 10-14.

New Zealand will then remain in England to face India in the inaugural World Test Championship final at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl.

Published in Dawn, June 5th, 2021

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