August 3, 2002

Rain has the last word at New Road

The rain which washed out the first two days of the Indians' tour match at Worcester returned to frustrate all parties on the fourth and final day, and ultimately forced the early abandonment of the match.

The Indians declared on their overnight first innings total of 417 for eight, but with just a day's play remaining the chances of a result already looked slim.

Worcestershire began steadily, set on their way by an opening partnership of 84 between the former Essex batsman Stephen Peters and Anurag Singh, previously of Warwickshire. Singh had reached 46 (61 balls, eight fours) when he was caught at second slip by Virender Sehwag off the Indian captain Sourav Ganguly.

Peters had just completed his half century (90 balls, eight fours, one six) when he was lbw to Ashish Nehra, whose Test place is thought to be in jeopardy should India, as expected, recall Harbhajan Singh for the second Test against England, which starts at Trent Bridge on Thursday.

Nehra then accounted for Ben Smith for five, also caught by Sehwag, before Vikram Solanki was again taken in the slips, this time by Rahul Dravid off Ajit Agarkar for the same score. Graeme Hick made 27 before he was leg-before to Harbhajan, who then caught wicket-keeper Jamie Pipe at cover off Ganguly for 12.

Worcestershire were on 200 for six, with Gareth Batty on 30, when the rain returned to render the day's proceedings well-nigh insignificant.