MANCHESTER – The Old Trafford Test was left leaning heavily towards a draw after persistent rain ruined the pivotal third day, forcing an abandonment without a ball bowled in England yesterday.
While light rain in the morning held up the start before washing out the first session, heavier showers in the afternoon ensured the square remained covered ruling out any possibility of play.
Match officials eventually called time on the day at 4 pm (11 am Eastern Caribbean time).
The washout has left the element of time as the most important factor in the Test, which England need to win in order to level the three-match series, after losing the opener in Southampton by four wickets last weekend.
West Indies are also chasing victory in order to complete their first series win on English soil in 32 years but if the match ends in a stalemate, they will retain the Wisden Trophy with a Test still to play, also at Old Trafford.
The Caribbean side were poised to resume their first innings on 32 for one, with nightwatchman Alzarri Joseph on 14 and experienced opener Kraigg Brathwaite on six.
Left with just under an hour to navigate late on Friday’s second day after England piled up a massive 469 for nine declared, West Indies lost left-handed opener John Campbell for 12, lbw on review to left-arm seamer Sam Curran, 20 minutes before the close.
All-rounder Roston Chase said following Friday’s play that West Indies planned to take a patient approach to their innings.
“[We need to] just take a page out of the English players’ book, especially (Dom) Sibley, how patient he was and just waiting for the bowlers to come to his areas and score,” Chase told reporters.
“So it’s just for us to take that leaf from their book, play each ball on its merit and when the opportunity comes to score, just score and go about it the normal way.”
The series is being played behind closed doors in a “bio-secure” environment to mitigate against the threat of COVID-19 pandemic which has already resulted in 45 300 deaths in the United Kingdom alone.