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England's cricket march is halted by rain

By David Clough

Heavy rain and a sodden outfield prevented England building a promising lead in the fourth Investec Test against India at Emirates Old Trafford as play was abandoned.

England were starting to push ahead confidently in the afternoon session of the second day and were leading by 85, with four first-innings wickets remaining, when a torrential downpour forced the players off.

Large amounts of water collected on the outfield and although the weather improved considerably in the evening, groundstaff could not get the playing area sufficiently ready.

Play was abandoned for the day following an inspection at 5.40pm.

England, after being troubled by India in the morning session, had been re-asserting their grip on proceedings and were 237 for six with Joe Root unbeaten on 48.

Asked if it the conditions in the affected areas were dangerous for the players, assistant coach Paul Fabrace said: "Of course it is.

"And the other thing is, I'm sure the Indians wouldn't be too keen to see the ball keep disappearing into that, getting wet and boggy.

"The umpires can't keep changing the ball every time it goes in there, and it would ruin the ball, the seam would become soft quickly, so I don't think either team would really be pleased with that."

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